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Impending Trade War Unlikely to Hike Gadget, Phone Prices
China and the U.S. have announced tariffs on more than $100 billion of combined goods. So how will this escalating feud impact the tech industry?
Jason Dedrick is a professor in Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies. He says it’s too early to know how the growing trade rift between the U.S. and China will impact phone or gadget prices but says non-tariff barriers may become more restrictive.
“I don’t think there will be much of a direct impact on phone or gadget prices in the U.S. The way the supply chain works, there aren’t a lot of direct imports of U.S. components into China. For instance, the Qualcomm chips in most phones are manufactured in Taiwan, so they wouldn’t be affected by tariffs on U.S.-made goods. Of course, most phones themselves are made in China, and most of the components are made in China or elsewhere in Asia. It looks like the tariffs are aimed more at U.S. agriculture, cars and other products actually made or grown in the U.S.
“There’s obviously a risk that the trade war will expand into other products, but the current tariffs don’t seem to be directly aimed at tech products. Tech companies in both countries are more affected by non-tariff barriers, which are nothing new but could become more restrictive in the future.
“It’s kind of early to know how this is going to settle out, especially given Trump’s penchant for announcing one thing and doing another.”
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