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Consumer and tech goods most likely to be hit by Trump's new tariffs
[WILMINGTON] The tariff threat to consumer goods is back on.
After a one-month truce with China, President Donald Trump announced by tweet he would impose a 10 per cent tariff on US$300 billion in Chinese imports that aren't yet subject to US duties - the same week the two economic superpowers held a fresh round of trade talks.
Should he follow through with the move, set for Sept 1, Mr Trump would bring the American shopper into the fray like never before. It would effectively tax everything the world's factory sends to the US, with some of America's most-popular consumer goods targeted. Smartphones and laptops to sneakers and toys have managed to stay off Mr Trump's tariff lists in the past, so this new threat already has trade groups calling it a direct hit on the US consumer.
"We are dismayed," Matt Priest, president of the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, said in a statement.
The tariffs, which Mr Trump later said could go "well beyond" 25 per cent, would target industries that had been relatively spared by the trade war thus far.
Mobile phones are the biggest Chinese export by value yet to be tariffed.
Apple Inc spent decades building one of the largest supply chains in the world, with most of its products designed in the US, but then assembled in China. That makes it one of the most exposed companies to this new round of tariffs.
Mr Trump's latest salvo will likely trigger a response from China, with the country running out of US goods it can counter-tariff. In disputes with other nations in the past, it's used other measures: from boycotts to hitting out at companies.
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In a statement after Mr Trump's tweet on Thursday, the US's Retail Industry Leaders Association said the latest move puts American consumers "squarely in the crosshairs."
"Tariffs are taxes on American consumers - and if these tariffs happen, American consumers will bear the brunt of these tactics via higher prices on everyday items like clothing, toys, home goods, and electronics," the trade group said.