Chinese Tariffs Could Hit Consumers’ Pocketbooks To The Tune Of $3.2B

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The tariffs put in place by the U.S. government on printed circuit assemblies and connected devices could result in U.S. consumers paying $3.2 billion more for electronic products next year.

That’s according to a new report from the Consumer Trade Association (CTA), which said in a report last week that tariffs on those two areas would cost the economy $520.8 million and $2.4 billion annually for 10 percent and 25 percent tariffs, respectively. What’s more, the economic impact study showed American consumers will end up paying $1.6 billion to $3.2 billion more for connected devices such as modems, routers, smart speakers, smartwatches and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. The prices of connected devices from China is expected to increase between 8.5 percent and 22 percent, and prices for the products from all sources will increase between 3.2 percent and 6.2 percent, according to the trade group.

“With the economy thriving under President Trump — we’ve seen remarkably low unemployment and a booming stock market — the administration shouldn’t jeopardize America’s global standing with tariffs,” said Gary Shapiro, CEO and president of the CTA, said in a press release announcing the new research. “Foreign governments don’t pay the cost of tariffs, Americans do — and for that reason, U.S. trade policy needs to steer clear of tariffs that act like taxes on American manufacturers and consumers. The danger we face — the unintended consequence — is that tariffs mean Americans will pay more for all the devices they use every day to access the internet.”

According to the CTA, the price of printed circuit assemblies from China will increase between 9 percent and 23 percent, while a supply from a U.S. manufacturer will cost to 2 percent to 3 percent higher. As a result, the CTA said American manufacturers of products that include a printed circuit assembly will purchase 6 percent to 12 percent less from suppliers.

“When our government begins to charge its own companies and people with more taxes in the form of tariffs, we have put in jeopardy not just the American Dream of many small and mid-size businesses, but you put in jeopardy the people that work for them too,” said Win Cramer, CEO of California-based JLab Audio and CTA member, in the press release. “These people support a growing economy, support a growing business and, most importantly, pay taxes. Pre-tariffs, JLab Audio was planning to scale up with new hires and programs to push our company’s growth to another level, but now we’ve put all of that on hold as we need to see how everything shakes out.”