US tech giants join forces to oppose Trump tariffs - TechCentral

US tech giants join forces to oppose Trump tariffs

Donald Trump. Image: Alicia Brand

Dell Technologies, HP, Intel and Microsoft are joining forces to oppose US President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on laptop computers and tablets among US$300-billion in Chinese goods targeted for duties.

The companies submitted joint comments opposing the tariff escalation, saying it would hurt consumer products and industry, while failing to address China’s trade practices. The tariffs are poised to hit during the peak holiday and back-to-school sales period, they said.

“The tariffs will harm US technology leaders, hindering their ability to innovate and compete in a global marketplace,” the companies said in comments posted online.

Dell, HP and Microsoft said they account for about half of the notebooks and detachable tablets sold in the US. Prices for laptops and tablets will increase by at least 19% — about $120 for the average retail price of a laptop — if the proposed tariffs are implemented, according to a study released this week by the Consumer Technology Association.

The companies said they spent a collective $35-billion on research and development in 2018 alone, and tariff costs would divert resources from innovation while providing “a windfall” to manufacturers based outside the US that are less dependent on American sales.

The Trump administration is considering public comments on the proposed duties and hearing testimony from more than 300 US companies and trade groups through to 25 June. The tariffs could be imposed after a rebuttal period ends on 2 July.

The US and China said their presidents will meet in Japan next week to relaunch trade talks after a month-long stalemate.

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