US Tech Firms: Job At Risk Amidst Ongoing Trade War Of The US With China

Various US tech giants have called on the administration of President Donald Trump for an exemption from the new tariffs that were imposed against China.

Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America, is set to announce a new series of tariffs that will be targeting $200bn (£154.6bn) of exports from China. Dell, Cisco,  Juniper Networks, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise requested that the White House should whitelist the components behind some of their products.

In their letter to Robert Lighthizer, a US Trade Representative (USTR), they said that those would include networking products, and the related hardware such as smart cards and hard drives, which the companies described as a “critical segment” of their product portfolios.

They heavily depend on Chinese components to build most of these products, meaning that the tariffs would force the product prices to go up, and even result to job losses.

The letter stated: “If USTR were to impose a 10-25 per cent additional duty on networking products and accessories, it would cause broad, disproportionate economic harm to US interests, including our companies and US workers, our customers, US consumers, and broader US economic and strategic priorities,”

The companies released a warning that the tariffs could end in them losing market-share abroad to foreign rivals, and with lesser cash to fund the research and development into new technologies such as cloud computing and 5G.

The letter continued: “Over time the reduced profits that the duties could cause could lead to hiring freezes, stagnant wages, and even job losses, as well as harm to investors such as reduced dividends and erosion of shareholder value.”

The new round of tariffs came into effect last Friday. It comes after a deadline passed for the companies to have their say regarding the proposals.

The recent low-level discussions between the countries were not able to prevent a previous round of tariffs being imposed as the negotiations ended, with a 25 percent tax introduced by the United States on $16bn worth of Chinese goods last August.

Earlier this week, Trump said that the United States would not make a deal that would be favourable to China.

He stated: “We’ll continue to talk to China.”

He continued: “I have great respect for President Xi [Jinping]. … But right now, we just can’t make that deal.”