Trade

Trump’s Tariffs to Increase Cost of Electronics $1 Billion Per Month

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

If Trump follows through on this threat to impose tariffs of 10 percent on all remaining Chinese goods that aren't already subject tariffs, it will increase the cost of consumer electronics by at least $1 billion per month according to an industry trade group.

And that sounds bad, but it's worse than that. The industry is already paying more than $1 billion per month in tariffs and Trump's next round of tariffs will weigh on top of that.

From Bloomberg:

The Consumer Technology Association said the industry paid $1.7 billion in tariffs in June. The additional levies set to take effect on Sept. 1 would impact about $13 billion in technology imports from China that month, including mobile phones, laptops, televisions and smartwatches, the group said.

Tariffs are taxes -- and increasing costs on companies puts consumers in the middle of President Trump’s trade war,” Gary Shapiro, the group’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. [...]

Total tariffs paid in June reached $6 billion, one of the highest monthly amounts in U.S. history, according to data released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a campaign by trade groups opposed to the duties. Tariffs paid on products subject to all Trump’s duties were $3.4 billion in June, up from $2.8 billion in May, the group said.

Some of the biggest and richest corporations in the world such as Apple will be able to eat the cost of Trump's tariffs, but that will not be possible for most brands and retailers.

The ability for some companies to absorb the cost of Trump's tariffs depends on those tariffs remaining at just 10 percent, however, and Trump has said he will increase his tariffs from 10 to 25 percent or higher in the coming months. And in that case, even Apple won't be able to avoid passing some of the costs down to consumers.

Looking ahead, the upcoming holiday shopping season which will begin just weeks after Trump's tariffs take effect could be especially bad. Even Halloween decorations could be more expensive. That's assuming Trump's trade war won't end in the next two months and that seems like a very safe assumption. Chinese and American officials aren't even scheduled to meet face-to-face again until after Trump's tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods are imposed.

It's politically imperative that Democrats make it very clear that Trump is directly responsible for what's coming.

  • muselet

    The Trump administration, when it even bothers to come up with a rationale for tariffs, points to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

    It’s true that section 232 does allow the president unilaterally to impose tariffs in the interests of national security. Donald Trump stamping his feet and shrieking, “I wanna!” is not sufficient justification, and I fail to see how shoes, computers and toys affect national security.

    It’s politically imperative that Democrats make it very clear that Trump is directly responsible for what’s coming.

    It remains to be seen how The Base will react when everything they buy at WalMart is suddenly more expensive. If history is any guide, they’re likely to blame Ds, immigrants and jihadists rather than Trump.

    Still, doing anything else would constitute political malpractice.

    –alopecia

    • Draxiar

      A coworker of mine, an otherwise reasonable individual wrapped up in the trump cult, who I get along with really well and whom I do not talk politics with (though I overhear) claims, in regards to the tariffs, that “sometimes you have to take a few steps back to forward”. If that’s any sort of bellwether the Base will go along with the price hikes as being the cost of doing business as long as China gets what’s coming to them and America “wins”. Some may change their minds and complain about prices…and yes, blame the Democrats. Like you said, Trump will never be blamed because that facts won’t get through the bubble.

  • gescove

    Some men just want to watch the world burn. Trump is manifesting every lurid detail of his American Carnage vision.

    • Draxiar

      Putin’s too.