If I had to describe trade relations between the United States and China, all I’d say is that it’s a mess. Ever since the Trump administration won the White House, they’ve been opposed to China, and they’ve been showing their opposition by running this trade war. The worst part is, the trade war has only hurt both sides! China, of course, suffers from tariffs, but tariffs tend to help the side that implements them, but the only people benefitting from the tariffs are the ones in the administration.
To give it to Trump, he suspended tariffs for a few months while discussing a compromise with President of China Xi Jinping. Talks seemed to be going well…until August 1st.
August 1st, Donald Trump announced that the administration will be applying a 10% tariff to $300 billion worth of goods from China starting September 1st… Even worse, he went on to admit that he and his administration are looking into applying a 25% tariff.
While a 10% tariff is nothing shocking, a 25% tariff is ludicrous. And if you’re wondering what items will be affected by these tariffs, it just so happens to be a bunch of technology.
A List of Affected Items
It would be easy for me to write off the list and say that all tech is affected, but that would be lazy. However, the list is expansive and affects a majority of consumers, if not all.
- Phones, both wireless and wired(yes, they still exist)
- Video game consoles
- Headphones and other audio equipment
- Storage media(Solid-state drives, HDDs, flash drives, etc.)
- Wearable technology
- Monitors and TVs
- Network devices(routers, switches, etc.)
Why Target Tech?
I feel that answering the question “Why is the Trump administration incorporating such high tariffs?” can be boiled down to a dozen different answers, each one being more politically-biased than the other. However, I digress. Instead, I want to answer why the administration is targeting tech specifically.
You ever notice how a majority of products say “made in China” on them? You’ve definitely seen that statement, whether it was on a cheap toy from the dollar store or on the documentation for your laptop.
America gets a majority of it’s items from China, and China knows this. In fact, the government of China is planning it’s future around that fact. This plan is called “Made in China 2025”.
This plan was announced in 2015 by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The plan encouraged Chinese companies to branch out to the global sectors, eventually becoming top dogs in their respective industries. The final goal? To become a global superpower by playing key roles in tech.
The plan makes sense! The tech industry is the #1 industry to dive into if you’re looking for long-term sustainability and having strong influence in sectors such as artificial intelligence and computer components would benefit any country, especially China.
However, besides a Wall Street Journal report claiming China is replacing the plan, China has been quiet about the plan. My best guess is that China was hoping to avoid this exact situation, but here we are.
This trade war has been a stain on foreign relations for the United States. I’m genuinely terrified of what the Trump administration will try to tariff next. Seriously, if Trump came out and said he was implementing a tariff on software, I’d believe he would try. Next thing you know, the VPN software I use for proxying will be $10 more.
Overall, don’t be surprised if that $1,000 laptop you’ve been looking at gets a bit more expensive in a couple months. We won’t know if Trump’s 25% tariff plan will be implemented until late fall/early winter, so until then, try to get as much of your Christmas shopping done sooner rather than later!