Trump's 25% Tech Tariff Boost On China Delayed

The Consumer Technology Association is praising President Trump's decision not to boost his 10% tariff on Chinese goods, including tech products, to 25% on Jan. 1, though that could only be a reprieve.

That came after a "working" dinner with Chinese Xi Jinping following the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

"We're encouraged to see Presidents Trump and Xi working together to reduce trade barriers between the U.S. and China," said another president. That would be Consumer Technology Association president Gary Shapiro.

Shapiro is no fan of China's restrictions on U.S. goods, but points out that in the past five months since the 10% U.S. tariffs went into effect, China's response meant the tech industry alone paid $349 million more on imported goods, a $300% increase, which he said put several companies out of business and thousands of workers on the unemployment line.

Related: Trump Levying $200 Billion in Tariffs

Following his meeting and what he called one of the biggest deals ever made--the President tends to measure the country's success in terms of deals--President Trump said they would be "holding back on tariffs.

"On January 1, 2019, he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of product at the 10% rate, and not raise it to 25%," Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced following the dinner.

She also said Presidents Trump and Xi have agreed to negotiate on "forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft," but if they are unable to agree on "structural changes," the tariff will be increased to 25%."

Related: CTA Says Tech Revenue Jumps But Tariffs Could Kneecap Sales

The President also signaled the Qualcomm deal to could be back on the burner: "President [Xi] has agreed that if the Qualcomm deal that they rejected -- which was one of the larger deals of its kind, which China rejected -- if that deal came back to him, he would most likely approve it quickly, which is a big thing."

That appeared to be a reference to Qualcomm buying chip manufacturer NXP, rather than the scuttled deal to buy Broadcom, which Trump blocked back in March..

The President also said the U.S. would be terminating NAFTA in the "not-too-distant-future, which he later said would be within the next six-months.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.