The trade war is on.
Though they aren't a good sign regarding where things stand politically, the new tariffs on Chinese imports that were just floated by the Trump Administration don't look too harmful for the tech sector at first glance.
The tariffs do cover goods said to have an annual trade value of about $200 billion, which is four times the estimated trade value of the Chinese import tariffs that recently went into effect. However, whereas the recently-imposed tariffs carry a 25% rate, the ones proposed on Tuesday feature a 10% rate.
Moreover, the Trump Administration doesn't seem to be in any rush to impose the new tariffs. A public hearing on them will take place from August 20th to the 23rd, and the due date for post-hearing rebuttal comments is August 30th. That leaves plenty of time for Washington and/or Beijing to make fresh trade overtures.
As far as the impact on tech goes, it's worth noting that the lion's share of the new tariffs cover agricultural goods, energy products and various other non-tech commodities. Many of these goods are ones for which China recently imposed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports.
Some tech and electronics products are included towards the end of the 10% tariff list. They include TVs, monitors and various components used within them, as well as smart cards, amplifiers, microphones, optical media, and circuit boards. However, more tech and electronics products appear to have been covered via the 25% tariffs that are now in effect. Among other things, that list includes a number of semiconductor, storage and optical products, as well as chip manufacturing equipment.
Nonetheless, as the Nasdaq Composite
It would hardly be a surprise if China floated new tariffs of its own in response to the latest U.S. tariff list. And with China's recently-imposed tariffs mostly leaving U.S. tech products unscathed, it also wouldn't be shocking if tech goods are featured more prominently in Beijing's next tariff list.