While Apple Inc. and the smartwatch business is safe from the latest tariffs the Trump administration enacted against China, there are many other potential areas of tech that could be hurt by the levies on $200 billion in Chinese goods.
Late Monday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued a final list of goods that will be subject to an initial 10% tariff, beginning Sept. 24, and then rising to 25% in January. While some products developed by Apple Inc. AAPL, -2.66% and Fitbit Inc. FIT, -1.09% were spared, after smartwatches and wireless earbuds were removed from the list at the 11th hour, other products — such as those that use printed circuit-board assemblies, for example — appear to be subject to tariffs.
In a brief statement late Monday, the Consumer Technology Association said that it appreciates the Trump administration’s removal of some consumer devices from the tariff list. However, the tech trade group that runs CES said it was especially worried about retaliatory tariffs, especially those on printed-circuit assemblies and networking equipment, which could hurt future investment into 5G, the next-generation telecommunications standard.
“Retaliatory tariffs, whether 10% or 25%, are bad policy,” CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement. “We are especially concerned about retaliatory tariffs on printed-circuit assemblies, routers and networking equipment. They will stifle our global leadership in 5G, create an internet tax on businesses and cause uncertainty for companies.”
In addition, the CTA said that the retaliatory tariffs against China may also violate the law: “Congress has not given the president or the USTR a blank check to pursue a trade war. These new retaliatory tariffs run afoul of the carefully tailored provisions of the Trade Act of 1974.”