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More Tariffs Mean More Taxes, More Trouble for Consumers

Arlington, VA – September 1, 2019 – 

The following statement is attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, regarding the List 4A tariffs on Chinese imports, originally announced at 10% and now slated to take effect at 15% on Sept. 1:

“This new tariff list taxes consumers on $52 billion worth of their favorite tech products, including TVs, digital cameras, Bluetooth earbuds, smartwatches and fitness trackers. American consumers were already going to pay higher prices for their holiday gifts. Now, the president’s decision to hike tariffs even higher means even more pain for American businesses, workers and families.

"The president absolutely should address China’s forced technology transfers and IP theft. But this unpredictable tariff policy is forcing us down the wrong economic path. Continuous threats of more tariffs and occasional promises that trade talks are progressing mean whiplash for global stock markets. That uncertainty hurts every American with a pension, retirement fund or college savings plan.

“This approach also compromises our global leadership. U.S. companies have to spend more resources on constantly changing trade rules and less on innovation, new products and our economic health. These tariffs are the worst economic mistake since the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, a policy that launched America into the Great Depression. This is not how you reach a meaningful trade agreement.

“The president does not have unilateral authority on trade. Congress should pass the Reclaiming Congressional Trade Authority Act of 2019, reasserting Congress’ role in trade policy and protecting Americans from unending trade wars and retaliatory tariffs.”

Since July 2018, Section 301 tariffs on China have cost the consumer technology industry more than $10 billion – including $1 billion on 5G-related products, hindering the U.S. in the critical global race for 5G. Tariffs will cost the technology industry nearly $7 billion in Q4 2019 alone — and tariffs will force consumers to pay more for their holiday gifts.

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