Technology products exporters from China paid over $32 billion in tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump between mid-2018 to the end of 2021, according to a new trade group report, with Biden administration deliberations over removal of some duties continuing.
According to the report from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), as a result of the tariffs, the tech industry has become less reliant on China, but this has been offset by higher imports from Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and other countries.
CTA said that about half of the $32 billion in tariffs on Chinese products have been paid on electronic and computer goods. According to Customs and Border Protection data, Section 301 tariffs on Chinese goods totaled $145.43 billion through July 13.
The Biden administration is considering whether to remove some of the tariffs in a bid to provide relief to American consumers from high inflation, which remained low during the first two years that the tariffs were in place.
As reported by Ed Brzytwa, CTA’s vice president of international trade, these tariffs will hurt U.S. businesses, rather than solving China trade challenges.
“With rising prices across all sectors of our economy, removing tariffs would mitigate rampant and harmful inflation and lower costs for Americans,” he said.
According to a CTA analysis, goods affected by the Section 301 tariffs decreased by 39% in the three and a half years since they were first imposed in phases, while goods not affected saw an increase of 35%.
From 2017 to 2021, the share of Chinese imports of tech products affected by the tariffs was roughly halved from 32% to 17%, CTA said. Computers and electronic products accounted for more than half of the $32 billion in tariffs.
According to the group, no such shift tech products were exempt from tariffs, with China accounting for 84% of U.S. imports in these categories in 2017 and in 2021.
However, some imports of Chinese produced consumer tech goods were higher in 2021 as compared to 2017, even though the tariffs were in place, suggesting that some companies were reconsidering whether to leave China. There were some cooking appliances, digital cameras and vacuum cleaners, including robot vacuum cleaners, on the list.