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US-China Trade Deal Must Move to Phase 2, CTA CEO Says

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ARLINGTON, Va. -- The following statement is attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA), on the signing of a "Phase One" trade deal with China:

"Phase One is a big step toward normalizing our trading relationship with China and ending this costly trade war. President Trump made a deal that rolls back tariffs and addresses critical tech priorities including intellectual property protections and forced technology transfer.

"Tariffs are taxes on Americans – not the Chinese. The postponement of tariffs is a temporary reprieve on many of Americans' favorite tech products. But market uncertainty remains until we see permanent tariff removal—or return the billions of dollars our nation has paid because of these tariffs. Businesses and markets crave certainty and relief from the whiplash caused by the ups and downs of our trade negotiations.

"We look forward to working with the administration to ensure effective enforcement of the Phase One agreement and the shift to a Phase Two deal—one we hope will eliminate special tariffs on Chinese imports once and for all." The Phase One trade deal rolls back tariffs on List 4A products—including smart speakers, wireless headsets and earbuds, TVs and smart watches—from 15% to 7.5% and postpones tariffs on list 4B products—including laptops and tablets, video game consoles and smartphones. Tariffs on Lists 1-3 products—including desktop pcs, chargers, power adapters and connected thermostats—remain in place.

According to new data from CTA, compiled and analyzed by The Trade Partnership, the U.S. tariffs have cost consumer tech companies a total of $17.5 billion, including $1.7 billion in taxes for products critical to 5G deployment. In addition:

  • Total tariffs paid on tech products were $1.9 billion in November of 2019. That is down from the $2+ billion in September/October, but still up from the $150-$200 million per month before Section 301 tariffs were imposed.
  • Through November, List 1-4A tariffs have added about $19.2 billion in extra tariffs to tech product imports, including nearly $1.7 billion in taxes for products critical to 5G deployment.
  • Tariff costs will remain higher despite the Phase 1 deal. Avoiding List 4B tariffs was important, but most of the tariffs being paid ($1.2 billion of the $1.9 billion) are products on List 3 and won't benefit from the announced tariff cuts.

Consumer Technology Association

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