Press Release | December 14, 2018

CTA: Tariffs Now Cost the Tech Industry $1 Billion a Month

Elliot Grimm
New tariff data shows the current Section 301 tariffs on imported Chinese products now cost the technology industry an additional $1 billion per month, according to Consumer Technology Association (CTA) data, compiled and analyzed by The Trade Partnership. Tariffs on CTA-identified tech products jumped to $1.3 billion in October, over seven times the amount from the same month a year ago. The tech industry has also paid $122 million more on 5G-related imports alone in October; in contrast, this time last year the industry paid very low tariffs – $65,000.

“President Trump made the right decision to pause the tariff rate at 10 percent, while the administration negotiates with China,” said Sage Chandler, CTA vice president for international trade. “But the cost of current tariffs remains an issue, and the uncertainty of potentially more tariffs combined with export controls is a real threat to our industry and to maintaining U.S. global leadership on 5G innovation. The tech industry – responsible for 10 percent of U.S. GDP and more than 15 million American jobs – has already been dealt an enormous blow by tariffs this year.”

Nearly 70 percent of tariffs paid by the tech industry come from the $200 billion product list – enacted Sep. 24 – for which the industry has spent $800 million more in tariffs compared to a year ago.

“It’s almost inevitable that an economic slowdown will occur if these tariffs continue – just look what the tariffs’ damage and uncertainty have done to stock markets,” said Chandler. “To lessen the impact of an economic downturn, it’s critical that the Trump Administration negotiates with China with the mindset of ending tariffs and addressing the concerns of forced tech transfers and IP theft.”