Press Release | July 17, 2019

Despite Talks, Tariffs on Tech Reach 2019 Record High

Bronwyn Flores Jennifer Drogus
The U.S. technology industry paid a 2019 record amount for Section 301 tariffs on imported Chinese products in May – $1.3 billion, more than six times higher than May of 2018 despite a 31% decline in imports – according to new data from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, compiled and analyzed by The Trade Partnership. And tariffs paid by the tech industry likely will rise even higher in the coming months, as the latest hike to 25% on List 3 products didn’t take effect until May 11.
“Although the Trump administration has paused on enacting further tariffs, U.S. workers, families and businesses are still paying billions of dollars more than they otherwise would – again proving that tariffs are nothing more than taxes,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “And the economic pain for everyday Americans and our companies will only grow, since tariffs have more than doubled on the largest list of products. While we support President Trump’s effort to stop China’s forced technology transfers and IP theft, this unpredictable trade policy forces American companies to absorb rising costs. It also hurts our chipmakers while in the meantime igniting China’s innovation sector to become self-reliant. It’s time for a better trade deal with China – but tariffs won’t get us where we need to be.”
This May, tech companies paid $111 million more than May of last year for tariffs on 5G-related products – also a record high for 2019 – raising total tariffs on 5G-related products such as routers, gateways and servers to $930 million. Tariffs on CTA-identified tech products – about 70% of which are on List 3 - have averaged $1 billion more per month.