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.
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.