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Tech Industry Has Paid $349 Million More to Import From China 

Sage Chandler, Staff VP, International Trade, Consumer Technology Association

At this week’s G-20 meeting in Argentina, the U.S. plans to meet with China amid concerns about technology transfer, intellectual property theft and cybercrimes. As the world waits to see if President Trump and Chinese President Xi resolve the trade war and end five months of tariffs, both administrations should be aware tariffs are hurting their domestic economies.  

The U.S. tariffs on Chinese products are paid for by Americans not the Chinese. The proof is in the numbers.  

Since tariffs against China first came into effect on July 6, the tech industry has paid $349 million more on imported goods from China when compared to September 2017, according to CTA data compiled and analyzed by The Trade Partnership. That’s a 195 percent cost increase that’s hurting our industry.


Beyond the cost to the U.S. economy, tariffs create a ripple effect on the world stage, destabilizing currencies, debt ownership, supply chains and market forecasts, which both governments and businesses rely on when making policy and investment decisions.  

Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected tariffs are about to hit at the macro level. For the first time since July of 2016, the IMF estimates a global GDP downgrade in 2019 due to the hostile trade environment. Before the downturn, the IMF projected the U.S. GDP will drop from 2.9 percent to 2.5 percent in 2019. The downgrade follows announcements from 62 major companies that blame tariffs for slower growth and weaker corporate earnings.  

Unsurprisingly, with warning alarms sounding from global companies and the IMF, Wall Street is also showing vulnerability. Since tariffs on China began, the NASDAQ has dropped nearly 750 points. On July 6, the NASDAQ closed at 7688.39 – but Friday it closed at 6,938.98. We have also seen that with most impending tariff announcements, the DOW and other major global indexes experienced drops that reflect a collective unease of protectionist policies between the world’s two greatest economic superpowers. 

An escalating tariff scenario creates a grim outlook. And with no end in sight, tariff costs for Americans will grow significantly, especially on January 1 when tariffs on approximately 6,000 products jump from 10 percent to 25 percent. 

Predatory trade practices by foreign governments are complex policy challenges. But trying to fight foreign discrimination by imposing taxes on goods paid for by our own companies and consumers only threatens to drive our otherwise successful economy into the red.