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Tariffs on mobile phones, computers harm US users: Report


Washington, Jun 19 (IANS): Additional tariffs in the US on import of consumer electronics products from China would have a "substantial negative impact" on American consumers, even after accounting for alternative sources of supply, said a US consulting firm.

Washington DC-based company Trade Partnership Worldwide said this in a report as the White House is threatening to impose additional tariffs of 25 per cent on $300 billion in goods from China, including cellphones, laptops and tablets.

In the report prepared for the US Consumer Technology Association, the consulting firm estimated that if the new tariffs were imposed, the cost of cellphones imported from China would rise by 22 per cent in the US, Xinhua news agency reported.

Also, the overall US price of a cellphone would rise by 14 per cent, or nearly $70, for the average retail price of a cellphone today, which will reduce the country's overall purchases by 28 per cent, according to the report.

American consumers would pay over $8.1 billion more for cellphones and it will be a net loss of $4.5 billion for the US economy even after accounting for the new tariff revenue, according to the report.

Laptops and tablets will also see hikes across the board in both costs and prices. The cost of these items imported from China will increase by 21 per cent while the overall US prices will rise by 19 per cent, or about $120, for the average retail price of a laptop today and about $50 for a tablet today.

American consumers would pay over $8.2 dollars more for laptops and tablets and it will be a net $3.6 billion loss for the US economy even after accounting for the new tariff revenue, according to the report.

The report also showed that shifting the supply to other countries will be difficult and cost a significant amount of money, with the burden carried mostly by US consumers.

China accounted for about 75 per cent of the total cellphones and over 90 per cent of the total laptops and tablets imported into the US, according to Trade Partnership Worldwide.

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