US President Donald Trump announced it would be enacting 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods that China ships to the United States. The full list of products covered by the tariffs is over a thousand items long, and while it doesn’t include smartphones, laptops, tablets, or TVs, it does cover some of the components used in those devices.
In other words, you may start to see the prices of some gadget go up when the new tariffs go into effect on July 6th.
Some of the products included int he tariffs include things like touch screens, LCD displays, batteries, some types of printed circuits, TV tuners, and other components used to make gadgets.
It’s difficult to say just how much of a price hike you’re likely to see. Device makers could decide to absorb the increased cost of components, but that would eat into their profit margins. It’s more likely that they’ll pass along some of the price increases to consumers.
But they could also look for different suppliers. While Chinese factories produce a lot of the components in today’s electronics, there are also suppliers in South Korea, Japan, and other countries.
Some companies may be less lucky: The Wall Street Journal reports that some US-based chip makers are complaining that they could end up paying tariffs on their own products if they outsource manufacturing to Chinese contractors.
It’s also possible that China could make changes to the way it does business in order to appease the Trump administration and have the tariffs lifted. That’s probably not going to happen by July 6th though.
For now, it seems like the country is taking a different approach: imposing its own 25 percent tariffs on more than 545 US items including automobiles and agricultural products. Those tariffs are set to take effect the same day the US tariffs on Chinese goods are triggered.