Dell, Cisco seek 11th hour exemption from new Chinese tariffs

The tariffs are top of mind for Apple chief executive Tim Cook, who has personally lobbied Trump for months on issues of taxes and trade, even dining with the president and first lady Melania Trump at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey, last month. China has threatened retaliation, which could include action against USA companies operating there.

On Friday (September 8), Kudlow also told Bloomberg the administration would consider public comments before making a final call on the 200 billion list.

China so far has retaliated dollar-for-dollar with tariffs of its own on U.S. goods, but since it imports less than $200 billion a year from the United States, it has run out of room to match the US.

On the $200 billion list are consumer products such as cameras, suitcases, tires and vacuum cleaners, which would see a tariff of 10% to 25% levied upon them.

That may be welcome news for companies and organizations that submitted comments or asked for exemptions. Comparatively few applauded the tariffs.

Dell (DVMT), Cisco (CSCO), Juniper Networks (JNPR) and Hewlett Packard (HPE) said the tariffs would increase the costs of their networking equipment, damaging the companies' bottom lines and leading to possible U.S. job losses. This, however, only refers to Apple, the iPhone, and the other Apple products. Start building new plants now.

"It is hard to see how tariffs that hurt US companies and USA consumers will advance the Government's objectives with respect to China's technology policies". Economists caution, though, that the drag on growth would worsen the longer the tariffs were in place. But David French, top lobbyist for the National Retail Federation, whose members include Amazon.com, BJ's Wholesale Club and Macy's, said almost every consumer good could be affected if Trump follows through on all threatened tariffs.

He added: "We've taxed them $50 billion that's on technology".

In the early rounds of the hostilities, the administration targeted Chinese industrial imports to try to spare American consumers from higher import costs.

The plea by scores of US retail firms also called out "millions of U.S.jobs" in the industry's global value chains, "including those in research and design, supply chain, manufacturing, compliance, logistics and retail" that they warn would be put at risk if a new 10 percent or 25 percent tax were imposed.

The White House has accused China of stealing US intellectual property and forcing American companies to share their technology with Chinese companies. Those talks will continue to go on.

Specifically, Kudlow said, the United States was seeking "zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, zero subsidies, stop the IP theft, stop the technology transfer, allow Americans to own their own companies". "It's just another indication we're not out of the woods yet", she said.

  • Anthony Vega