Press Release | July 19, 2022

China Tariffs Slowed U.S. Tech Manufacturing and Job Growth, CTA Report Shows

Laura Ambrosio

Section 301 tariffs on U.S. imports from China stalled growth in production and employment in the United States, shows a new report from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®. In fact, tech manufacturing jobs stagnated and, in some cases, declined after the tariffs were imposed.  

“It’s clear that the tariffs have not been effective in dealing with China and are instead hurting U.S. businesses and consumers,” said Ed Brzytwa, vice president of international trade, CTA. “With rising prices across all sectors of our economy, removing tariffs would mitigate rampant and harmful inflation and lower costs for Americans.” 

Further, the Section 301 tariffs particularly affected the consumer technology industry. American companies paid an estimated $32 billion in extra Section 301 tariffs for tech products from July 2018 to December 2021, according to the report. Connected devices, routers, cables, computers and accessories were the most impacted, accounting for about one-third of estimated Section 301 tariffs on tech products. 

Additionally, other countries and markets that the U.S. does not have trade agreements with benefited from Section 301 tariffs. The biggest winners Vietnam and Taiwan saw near-immediate growth in exports to the United States of tariff-affected products. 

Based on the report data, CTA offers the following recommendations to policymakers: 

  • Eliminate tariffs on consumer technology products to mitigate inflation, lower costs, and unlock the innovative power of the U.S. economy.  

  • Eliminate tariffs on inputs to revitalize U.S. jobs and U.S. manufacturing of technology products. 

  • Immediately create new and expand existing trade agreements, including with Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Thailand, to make manufacturing investments in the U.S. more attractive.  

CTA commissioned the Trade Partnership Worldwide LLC to analyze multiple sources, including trade and shipments data from the U.S. Census Bureau and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, to determine the impact on the consumer technology industry since the Section 301 tariffs were imposed.  

View the full report here