$1 Billion a Month: The Cost of Trump’s Tariffs on Technology

December 15, 2018, 3:28 PM UTC

U.S. companies paid $1 billion more in tariffs on technology products imported from China in October than a year earlier, as new duties imposed by the Trump administration took effect.

The tariff costs rose more than seven-fold to $1.3 billion, as the world’s two biggest economies became embroiled in a trade war, according to data provided by the Consumer Technology Association and analyzed by consulting firm The Trade Partnership.

President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports since early July. The duties have been implemented in three tranches, the latest of which applied to $200 billion in goods and took effect Sept. 24.

A new round of talks between the two governments has raised hopes of a lasting truce. After Trump met President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires on Dec. 1, the U.S. agreed to put off raising the tariff rate on the $200 billion of imports from 10 percent to 25 percent. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is leading talks to reach a deal on “structural changes” to China’s economy by March 1.

Technology products now subject to higher tariffs include everything from printed circuit boards to computer servers and vacuum cleaners. Apple Inc. has so far avoided tariffs on popular products it manufactures in China such as the iPhone and Apple Watch.