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Tech policy

US trade wars could soon extend to electronics

Trump is mulling tariffs on imports of Chinese consumer technology. That could well backfire.

The news:  Bloomberg says that the president’s new tariffs could be extended to hit imports to the US beyond aluminum and steel. That could include electronics, to “punish Beijing for its alleged theft of intellectual property.”

The impact:  Gadfly notes that firms like Amazon and Apple, which build devices in China, may have to hike US prices if that happens. It may also push foreign firms to manufacture in America, and encourage China to impede sales of US hardware while pushing its own.

Why it matters: Trump says a trade war is “easy” for America to win, but tech firms could struggle. The situation also heightens tech tensions already whipped to fever pitch by the US government’s national security concerns about takeovers of American firms.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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