back to article Timely Trump tariffs tax tech totally: 25 per cent levy on modems, fiber optics, networking gear, semiconductors…

New tariffs imposed today by the US government on Chinese imports will hit the tech industry hard, with everything from semiconductors to networking equipment now taxed at 25 per cent. The ramping up of tariffs come in an apparent game of high-stakes chicken between President Trump and the Chinese government. Trade talks, soon …

  1. BGatez Bronze badge

    Emabarrassed American

    SUCH a schmuck

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    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      WTF?

      *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

      I'm totally IN FAVOR of what Trump is doing!

      1. China has been ripping off our tech for YEARS. At a 'used to company', one of China's "off the books" aka "4th shift" manufacturers _CLONED_ an antenna design, complete with the company's logo etched into the copper, which was then encased in plastic so it was hidden. It was a BLATANT RIPOFF.

      2. China makes promises, then IGNORES THEM, like we don't matter. Except *NOW*, we DO.

      3. The only thing that a communist dictatorship seems to understand is THE STICK, rather than THE CARROT.

      4. It's ABOUT TIME a president had the CHUTZPAH to do what needs to be done to STOP them from blatantly ripping us off. It's NOT "free market" over there, it's GUMMINT CONTROLLED market, where their gummint sets the pricing and policies and keeps their people working for SLAVE WAGES.

      5. A handful of hand-picked Chinese 'oligarchs' and political-types profit from their state-run manufacturing companies undercutting every other manufacturing business worldwide, while keeping their employees at the "slave wage" level, and controlling their lives via the 'great firewall' and 'social credit' scoring. And they BLATANTLY rip-off our tech! And they use *OUR* *MONEY* to do it! This is like paying the mob to protect us from the mob.

      So while everyone whines and complains about the higher price of an i-device, perhaps we ought to look more carefully at the TOTAL COST of having China make these things. And when it becomes more profitable to set up shop elsewhere, maybe the Philippines, maybe Vietnam, maybe even The Congo, or if Kim Jon Un stops behaving like a BIG FAT BABY, in N. Korea, and China has to actually COMPETE which means RESPECTING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, then they'll realize that they have to actually KEEP THEIR WORD if they want to make our stuff and sell it to us.

      Otherwise, the money spigot is gonna be throttled, and eventually SHUT, and they know it, and they had better realize that Trump isn't some wimpy Obama or Bush when it comes to foreign policy.

      This won't last long. But if it does, there's still Taiwan...

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

        Mr Bob, for once -- it's a miracle -- I generally agree with you. We all lie down in the mud with China, knowing that it is corrupt, that it uses slave labour in all but name, that it is an unjust and evil regime, and somehow we square our ethics with 'it's just business. It is not, and anything, even Trump (SO not a fan) that makes China less dominant is good, because its goals and the goals of any sane capitalist or socialist-capitalist are at odds.

        China is 'investing' in Europe now, as it has been 'invsting' in Latin America, Africa and South east Asia for at least a decade, and the results are the same. For example, Greece voted in favour of China at the UN not long after a massive 'investment' in Greece. 'Road and Belt' is a system of bribes. China is corrupting the world one 'investment' at a time, and doing business with it is to accept the corruption of the global economy.

        Not that is was too clean to begin with.

        1. jgarbo
          Mushroom

          Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

          Take a look at US and EU "investments", when the smoke clears and the bodies are stacked. The Chinese have not attacked or coerced or blackmailed anyone. Their loans are "no strings", unlike the US Christian warriors. Who's inciting terror attacks, latest Sri Lanka, on any country that deals with China? Ask around, work it out.

          1. Smooth Newt
            Stop

            Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

            >Take a look at US and EU "investments", when the smoke clears and the bodies are stacked. The Chinese have not attacked or coerced or blackmailed anyone.

            Some of the 2 million or more Uyghurs and others currently locked away indefinitely in internment camps in Xinjiang might have an opinion on whether Chinese government has attacked, coerced or blackmailed anyone, but obviously it isn't possible for them to express a view.

          2. JoMe

            Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

            If you're ripping off honest businesses and selling those designs as their own, I'm sure you'll have a lot of spare cash lying around to loan it indiscriminately.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

              Hey El Reg - why can't I both up vote and down vote?

              I demand the right to be entertained and appalled.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

            No strings? That's not how it works - you get a medium sized "investment" from China which has to be spent on Chinese stuff (railways etc) and then you get tested. If you vote as desired you get the chance for more investment...

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

            Dude get off CNN and start educating yourself....

            Trump doesn't even run the show he's just the GUI.

            They're involved, at least economically in almost every Nation now the same way the World Bank is/was.

            The Chinese are quoted as saying they want to replace the ones that run things.

            This cannot stand.

          5. FozzyBear Silver badge
            Pirate

            Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

            This has to be the most naive and uneducated comment I've read in a long time.

            Congratulations .... I think

        2. LDS Silver badge

          "China is 'investing' in Europe now"

          That would have suggested a clever US president to strengthen the ties with European and Far East allies, instead of actively acting to piss them off - as they have more or less the same issues with China.

          Instead the NY real estate, money losing, gorilla thought it can act as a gorilla on the world stage as well - but it is not exactly the same ring. China can be big enough to stand US as well - but it could have had more issue to stand US, EU, Canada, Australia, Japan, etc. at the same time.

          There will be no dad to get little Donald out of troubles, this time.

        3. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

          "It is not, and anything, even Trump (SO not a fan) that makes China less dominant is good, because its goals and the goals of any sane capitalist or socialist-capitalist are at odds."

          (This is a thought inspired by your comment. I am not trying to imply that you are one of the people I'm talking about in this comment.)

          I am a bit amused that many of the people who are inclined to say that the free market is the solution for pretty much everything are the same people who are in favor of this trade war. I'd think that this is one of the cases where a free market could actually be a solution.

          If China is mistreating companies doing business with them so egregiously, surely the solution would be for those companies to cease doing business with China. That they aren't entertaining that course of action tells me that the situation is not as dire as the administration portrays. Clearly, on the whole, US companies are making more of a profit by doing business with China than not.

        4. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

          >that it uses slave labour in all but name, that it is an unjust and evil regime

          No, no, no....this is just plain ridiculous, just just regurgitating years of Cold War propaganda. Surely you have Chinese colleagues or friends who can give you an accurate picture of what the country and its culture is like? (They will be quite sanguine if my experience is anything to go by.)

          The fact of life is China is a very large country with a huge population and (unfortunately) rather a strong work ethic. Its also a country in motion, developing very rapidly, so while you might find peasants in a remote area the industrial part "looks like California" and in many ways surpasses us. (.,..,at least they seem to be able to build high speed rail, something both California and the UK seem to have problems with) The Chinese are, and will continue to be, formidable competitors. We have been silly giving them a leg up (because our industrialists only concern themselves with the bottom line for the next quarter) and now having a temper tantrum about their development isn't going to help us one bit.

          Ultimately the one number that we need to bear in mind is that the massive imbalance of trade with the US represents only one ro two percent of their total economy.

      2. cjrcl

        Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

        China is an exponent of globalization nowadays while the US opts for protectionism. In contrast, they had swapped preferences around 30 years ago.

        It is the status of sci-tech progression and employment that determines which option a government will choose. Thus, in my opinion, other issues might be superficial.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

          "China is an exponent of globalization nowadays"

          No it isn't. It might talk about free trade, but it is deeply mercantilist. The pitch is massively sloped in their favour it isn't even funny.

          1. cjrcl

            Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

            You are correct by stating that the pitch is sloped.

            Furthermore, the slope manifests the huge difference in point of view regarding free market and govenment intervention. It is this difference that drives the clash between the two.

            The chinese sees it is just to employ national capitalism while Uncle Sam thinks it is just to keep the market of technologies exclusive in touting his version of free market which incentivize the merchantilism you mentioned above.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

        Bombastic Bob, the money spigot is a two way thing. The biggest buyer of US Government bonds is, yep, China. That means you owe them $trillions.

        And if they stop buying them, you're going to have to pay more taxes to fund the US government. And you still have to pay off that very large debt to China.

        The blame for this is multiple administrations down the past few decades running deficits, not balancing the books. That really means that the electorate hasn't been paying attention (mind you how could you in that turgid media environment?).

        So I rather think that it's they who have you by the short and curlies, not the other way round.

        Trump's own particular brand of bombast is simply inviting the Chinese to bankrupt you all, because he's accelerated the growth of the US deficit. Arguably these tariffs are a tax on US consumption, which could be seen as a long overdue correction in the US taxation system to help reduce the deficit, except for the tax breaks rolled out elsewhere.

        Of course the US could choose to default on its loans. That would be entertaining.

        Also note the Chinese "belt and road" initiative for trade links to Europe is setting the scene for China to cut off the USA; they'd be doing less trade eastwards, more trade westwards, and would care far less about tariffs.

        1. Blank Reg

          Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

          The entire world is trying to reduce reliance on trade with the USA since they have proven to be an unreliable and unfair trading partner.

        2. Stork Silver badge

          Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

          Not so. As the debt is in dollars, there is nothing to stop the US to pay back, apart from perhaps fear of inflation.

          1. bazza Silver badge

            Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

            Not so. As the debt is in dollars, there is nothing to stop the US to pay back, apart from perhaps fear of inflation.

            Currency devaluation as a means of paying off the national debt doesn't end well. Countries where that is commonplace are those where the currency tends to end up with lots of zeroes, like Zimbabwe, a few South European currencies prior to the Euro, etc.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

        @bombastic bob

        Taiwan - ah yes, plan B.

        Except no.

        Clearly you aren't aware that, quote: "Chinese President Xi Jinping on 2 January 2019 renewed Beijing’s longstanding threat to use force if necessary to restore mainland control over the island."

        This might be an eye opener on whether you think your lord and master would take on the Chinese when they decide to proceed: https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/china-army-navy/

      5. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

        Ripping off tech and stealing IP.

        You mean just like the USA used to do to other countries entirely above board until the 1970s and still does when it suits itself.

        What's that? Jet engine technology? The lumière brothers? Nuclear weapons research? Stealth aircraft? Light bulbs?

        1. MacroRodent Silver badge

          Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

          Not only technology. 20th century European authors and composers had lots of trouble getting any royalties from the U.S. Famously the first paperback edition of the Lord of the Rings was published in the U.S without paying anything to Tolkien, and it wasn't even illegal back then!

        2. Stork Silver badge

          Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

          Oh, and information not written in English is not prior art

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

        >I'm totally IN FAVOR of what Trump is doing!

        I don't understand how you aren't terrified by his failure to understand the basic concept of who actually pays the tariffs.

        >China has been ripping off our tech for YEARS......perhaps we ought to look more carefully at the TOTAL COST of having China make these things

        China is 18 months ahead on 5G, machine learning and much else - it's now surpassing not ripping off. These days it doesn't need your innovation or inward investment so it's a little late to get upset.

        US tariffs might reduce China's growth to 4 or 5% for a couple of years, inconvenient certainly, but Trump will be gone in 20 months, while Xi is planning his next 20 years.

      7. charlieboywoof

        Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

        Well said. I'm on the inside of this topic in medical electronics.They are underhand, thieving ripoff artists.

        1. Thrudd the Barbarian

          Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

          Which ones?

          As far as I know they both are.

      8. jmch Silver badge

        Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

        @bob - I am usually diametrically opposed to any of your positions, this one is certainly not so clear-cut.

        China is certainly ripping off IP, and whether the US used to do it in the past (as other commenters have mentioned) is neither here nor there. IP should be enforced worldwide and in all directions, to allow innovators to prosper, as long as IP (and copyright etc ) legislation is a bit more reasonable. (patenting trivialities and anything already done, but 'in software' or 'on a mobile', 70-year copyrights etc etc, that's a whole rant for another time )

        So I agree in principle that the rest of the world should be wary of over-dependence on China, as it was previously clever to be wary of over-dependence of the US or the USSR. And while there are probably better ways to implement that vision, tariffs are maybe not the most terrible way. If the ultimate aim is to be able to develop technology in the western world and have it built more cheaply somewhere that is not China, tariffs on China make it economically feasible to build some of this stuff in the US (or mexico etc) or to be able to invest startup costs in developing tech-building capabilities in Phillippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India* etc. There are literally billions of people in SE Asia of whom I'm sure a few hundred thousand can be found talented enough to replicate what China did in the last 20 years. And there's the rub... it will take many years for these tariffs to take enough effect to shift that process, and in the meantime that's quite some time of painfully expensive technology for the US.

        In any case, bob, the REPEATED SHOUTING certainly doesn't do anything to convince anyone of your arguments, rather the opposite.

        *Incidentally I am continually amazed that India is not a major player in electronics manufacturing. They have nuclear and space programmes, a gigantic population of whom a reasonable number are quite well-educated, good trade and diplomatic relations with the west, low cost... and yet it seems they are extremely big on software outsourcing, and practically nowhere on hardware.

        1. cjrcl

          Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

          The Chinese government well expected the shift of lower-end industries towards South East Asia years ago. Thus, came out the awkward "Silk and Belt" which must be a makeshift to maintain the 1.4 billion people before the country be able to join the "high-end industry club" who is not actively willing to accept more members.

          Whereas, there is no such problem for India parts of which commingle into the "high club" in a spontaneous and individual way that is strictly impossible for China where the adopted socialism demands all entities within be well centrally controlled.

          Meanwhile, though not without benefits as demonstrated in astronautics and nuclear facilities, the Chinese current policies could stymie the diversification of minds and behaviors limiting what its people can achieve in other aspects.

          Hope my opinion could offer some explanations for what you observed.

      9. ParasiteParty

        Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

        "It's NOT "free market" over there,"

        No, nor is it a free market in the USA. Most neoliberal states such as the US are not free markets because they simply do not work for all people.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

          There is no such thing as a free market pretty much anywhere, because utterly free markets are terrible ideas.

          With a totally free, totally unregulated market then you eventually get a single monopoly taking over the sector, and using it's market dominance to buy or bankrupt/marginalise anybody else trying to compete fairly. See Microsoft or Intel.

          Free Markets however work beautifully when their worst excesses are prevented and there is lots of competition.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

            Yes. Adam Smith even said so in "The Wealth of Nations". Regulation is required in order to ensure that markets are as free as possible. Unregulated markets cannot be "free" in a meaningful way for anything other than the very short term.

      10. HausWolf

        Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

        If he had actually made his "premium" clothing anywhere besides China I could see his point. The vast majority of his and his daughters clothing lines are made there though. We won't even go into the fact a lot of her stuff has been found to be knockoffs as well.

        He is just another do as I say, not as I do clown.

      11. Sir Loin Of Beef

        Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

        So, it's OK to do business with China but it is not OK if China does business with the US?

      12. JoMe

        Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

        I don't understand what moron down votes facts; especially since every point you make is correct. China does rip off every one's technology, most egregiously American tech. One big thing that's impacted by not having to design your own tech - aka stealing from others - is that you have no R&D cost, which makes up a significant chunk of sales pricing.

        No wonder they can undercut the US.

        1. Thrudd the Barbarian

          Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

          A good chunk of that R&D cost born by industry is marketing and production scaling subsidized by tax dollars.

          The real research is done on tax dollars at education institutions that generate small startups that lure investors and once they become viable get gobbled up pennies on the dollar.

      13. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

        No, its a temper tantrum when a more considered, long term approach is necessary.

        I've been grumbling about offshoring of not just the supply chain but also development for many years now. I live in California and we have had a lot of our core industry shot out from under us by offshoring mania** which has led to, among other things, a serious skills shortage.** Fixing what has take a generation or more to screw up will take a generation or more of concerted work.

        China has long stopped being a low cost manufacturing hub that adopts ("steals") other peoples' technology. They're now quite capable of developing their own technologies and standards and they're big enough to push them onto the world stage. Its nice that people have finally taken notice but the steps we have taken (like that ridiculous "Chinese spying" thing) make us look weak and stupid.

        (**Skills shortage? In California? Companies like Tesla excepted you'll find a lot of the startups are building 'apps' to package and market technologies and products developed elsewhere. Like China. The key question is "Where is the infrastructure being developed?" The answers will surprise you.)

        1. Sanguma

          Shills Skortage Re: *NOT* Emabarrassed American!

          The worst skills shortage most bosses face is the one they face every morning in the mirror. It's the one they won't confess to, though we could see that very very clearly with the likes of Scully of Apple ...

      14. Schultz

        Remember ...

        When the Japanese copied and ripped off the good old US?

        When the Germans copied British tools and machinery?

        The good old days when the French invented manufacturing and everyone else just copied that concept?

        Back when the US copied everything from Europe? And then stopped paying their rightful taxes?

        Turns out, that developing economies usually learn (copy) from more developed economies and then continue developing. Hand it to the Chinese, that they are extraordinarily successful in developing their economy. You can be envious, but you shouldn't make them out to be some kind of boogeyman just because they finally got their economy back to world-class. (They defined 'world class' for a few millenia, after all.)

        Keep in mind that IP is a somewhat tenuous concept; who says you can't build a cart because someone else invented the wheel? So I disagree with the China-bashing of the above poster, even if I see a lot of valid critique against their centralized and illiberal political system.

    4. jgarbo
      Boffin

      Re: Emabarrassed American

      The Genius-in-Chief strikes again at ....America. Donnie you don't tax imports you can't replace with local stuff. Get it? The Chinese must be laughing at this Clown.

      1. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Re: Emabarrassed American

        And now China will Tax stuff that comes from Trump States. More farmers are going to get hit.

  2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    It hurts the Chinese...

    ...in that US companies may reduce imports to some extent, but probably not by much. They'll just pass on the cost increases down the line. Significant amounts of what is imported from China can only come from there, especially in the electronics fields, at least in the short to medium term. Considering that China has a huge surplus and the US has a Yooooooooge deficit, I wonder who will blink first? China has serious problems in how it deals with world trade, in particular the way it deals with outsourcing (insourcing from their perspective), but the US solution seems to be a shot in it's own foot.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: It hurts the Chinese...

      And they call the Democrats tax and spend. Republicans are usually borrow and spend but they are making an exception and using the word tariff instead of what it really is a tax on the American consumer. Double bonus for being regressive as well.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: It hurts the Chinese...

        Exactly. I've heard some people claim that this won't be a problem because <cough> the Chinese <cough> pay the tariff. BS.. the customer pays it and the money goes to the US government. IF the Chinese were paying it, then that might be good for us citizens as maybe federal taxes could go down. But.... never happen.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It hurts the Chinese...

          That's how the so-called "President" and his party of grifters are spinning it, as a "tax" that the Chinese pay. This, of course, is a lie to pander to his base of low information voters. A tariff is paid by the importer, which in this case, are American companies dependent upon Chinese goods as the only source of many tech and consumer goods. That tariff cost is then transferred to the consumer, because that's how capitalism works.

          1. fredesmite2

            Re: It hurts the Chinese...

            But the pussies grabber supporters never mention who actually pays the final tax .. the consumers.

    2. Edward Clarke

      Re: It hurts the Chinese...

      "shot in it's own foot." ... not quite. This picture is more accurate -

      https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/bigstock-Juvenile-Hands-Shoved-A-Real-G-235299274.jpg

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: It hurts the Chinese...

      " Significant amounts of what is imported from China can only come from there, especially in the electronics fields, at least in the short to medium term"

      Smart U.S. companies have already set up "second source" for things, just worth pointing out. Shifting to another "2nd source" manufacturer and ramping up wouldn't take as long as people think...

      There are a number of small subcontractors in the USA (and worldwide) that can build things at competitive prices, and with a short setup process and setup fee, you can be up and running at a cost roughly equal to what it could be made for in China (post-tariff specifically).

      What China has that saves money and lead time is their component pipeline. Inventory levels on components can be kept small by doing 'just in time' deliveries from the factories that make those components, which by design are most likely IN THE SAME CITY as the manufacturer of the sub-assemblies and final assemblies.

      [yes I pretty much know what I'm talking about here, being in/out of manufacturing industry over the last few DECADES, to one extent or another].

      A U.S. based company that has a good pick&place setup might actually charge LESS than what a manufacturer in China would want to charge, particularly if they're placing parts on the boards by hand. But the lead times are likely to be longer, due to component availability and things of that nature. I am currently thinking of one particular manufacturer here in the USA when I say that. And in Mexico it has become LESS EXPENSIVE THAN China to make things, from what I've been reading/hearing. Some time ago a company I contracted for did some price comparisons, and chose a U.S.-based facility that's actually near the Mexico border...

      All in all, the market is likely to shift to "other than China" as this keeps up. Taiwan still makes things, and so does S. Korea, and so does the Philippines (things are apparently picking up over there, good thing, their economy is really poor), and so China would no longer be able to under-cut these other countries with their gummint-run companies, meaning they'll have a shot at the business China was exclusively doing.

      And I don't think it will take THAT long for a savvy team of manufacturing engineers and directors to get things up and running in "not China".

      [personally I'd rather see China behave, but obviously THAT isn't happening any time soon]

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It hurts the Chinese...

        Re: "personally I'd rather see China behave"

        The arrogance.

        Presumably, the Chinese say the same about the west but I'm sure you're correct as "might is right".

        ;)

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: It hurts the Chinese...

          "The arrogance.

          Presumably, the Chinese say the same about the west but I'm sure you're correct as "might is right"."

          Our definition of behave is play by the international rules of reciprocity and not lying through your teeth. Their definition of behave is to kowtow. It was that way in the 18th century and it will be that way in the 21st.

          The Chinese century is the century of darkness and jackboots.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It hurts the Chinese...

            Re: "and not lying through your teeth"

            And you're claiming the Donald is the west's cheerleader for that aspiration?!? LOL

            Try asking the Iranians, the Cubans, the North Koreans, the Mexicans, the Canadians, or in fact any of the US allies whether they believe his word is his bond.

            FFS he's a <expletive deleted> politician. It's what they do.

            Yet apparently, their supporters think they are god incarnate :(

          2. HausWolf

            Re: It hurts the Chinese...

            The US is not known for reciprocity and not lying through our teeth.

            1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Re: It hurts the Chinese...

              The US is not known for reciprocity

              Correct, I still remember a case where it was applied to Americans (finger printing when entering a country) and they were totally flabbergasted.

      2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: It hurts the Chinese...

        "Inventory levels on components can be kept small by doing 'just in time' deliveries from the factories that make those components"

        How does that help?

        this much hyped "just-in-time" model just seems like a way of making your business fragile and vulnerable to me.

        Sure it my save space in your warehouse, and may mean you havent got as much cash tied up in inventory ..... but thats for small timers surely?

      3. JJKing Silver badge

        Re: It hurts the Chinese...

        <quote=bomb bob>Smart U.S. companies have already ......... </quote>

        .......... moved to China for cheaper labor and don't give a crap about the now unemployed American workers. Just like when Shoot 'em in the arse Cheney moved Halliburton's HQ to a Cayman Islands tax haven so it would NOT have to pay tax in the USA. What a patriotic bastard he is especially when sending your young soldiers off to fight a war that benefits Halliburton with Billions of $$$$ of non tendered contracts.

        [personally I'd rather see Drumpf behave, but obviously THAT is NEVER going to happen]

    4. fredesmite2

      Re: It hurts the Chinese...

      Chinese will not be hurt at all... the peasants have no idea what the outside world is doing and as long as they get their 2 cups of rice with fish heads they think everything is ok.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It hurts the Chinese...

        I'm not sure you are following events in China very carefully.

        Incidentally, part of the reason for Trump is that a lot of Americans are not aware what the outside world is doing. That's what you get when you have a really big country, and China has four or five times the population of the US.

        It's sometimes fascinating, as well as scary, to read US websites and realise that many Americans have no idea where iPhones come from, think the US controls the world car market, and think their economic model is sustainable.

    5. macjules Silver badge

      Re: It hurts the Chinese...

      Exactly. It is not Apple or HPE who suffer, it is those poor bastards such as us who buy the tech.

      Mind you, in Apple's case you are already paying a 100% tariff for an icon of chewed fruit on the box.

  3. herman Silver badge

    Import the schtuff from Taiwan or Singapore. Problem solved for the Americans, but China will have to discount everything to the Taiwan and Singapore re-exporters/smugglers.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Its a good thing supply chains can change overnight and all huh? Or you know with the months to years lead times which have significant costs when the tariffs may be canceled any time in the middle of a tweet storm.

      1. whitepines Silver badge
        FAIL

        That really is the crux of the problem: *real* electronic supply chains (not your hobbyist stuff) have lead times (at best) measured in months. Many times years. Get that wrong, i.e. pay 1.5x as much for the Taiwan variant when 2 months later the PRC tariff goes to 0 and your competitor buys the batch of parts for his similar but delayed project from PRC, and you've got an expensive albatross on your hands while your competitor seizes the market. Enough of those and what used to be an American (even if only based/taxed there) business goes down in flames, to be replaced with a PRC one (fully PRC controlled and taxed).

        The Chinese win in the end.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          For example.

          My company is a perfect example. We are an largely American company with a global footprint (nobody has a back end in the developed world AFAIK) that makes semiconductors that go into automotive and consumer goods (among other things). A large amount of our sales are to China where they assemble the consumer good with our chips and then sell back into the USA so we get double f**ked in a trade war. Only a moron who loses money on NYC real estate would think it's 1945 and he can make everything American made before he gets his ass voted out and run off on a rail when he causes the next world wide recession. I am no fan of China (refused multiple times to go there) but the only thing this is going to change in the end (besides a lot of people being poorer) is Shanghai is going to get a glorious Trump tower. At least the farmers who voted for him get to feel what their boy is doing for them even harder.

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: For example.

            > then sell back into the USA so we get double f**ked in a trade war.

            Usually, in any sane tariff regime, imported materials that are re-exported as part of a final product can have the tariff refunded. Of course you will still be screwed by the US tariff on the final product.

            > would think it's 1945

            'MAGA' hacks back to an earlier age: Trump wants to Make America 1950s Again. That was when America benefited from Europe and the Far East having been destroyed and was before all that 'Civil Rights' nonsense!

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          @whitepines - some of what you say is true, but your conclusions are wrong.

          you assume that lead times "that long" are on common parts. Usually it's high-dollar stuff, and inventories CAN be moved... and it's likely that high-dollar inventories will be depleted while there's a tariff if it applies to that [while finding a competing source].

          Again, keep in mind that China has deliberately set up a system [which is actually quite smart] where the component makers are in the same city as the component consumers, and by using "just in time" delivery the inventory levels are extremely LOW. For high dollar items (like CPUs) that are likely NOT made in China, you'll still have lead times, and maybe you can just tell the makers to "ship 'em here instead". the other stuff really isn't that significant, and is probably ALSO made in Taiwan, P.I., Singapore, S. Korea, ...

          sure I'll expect one or two exceptions to be mentioned, maybe touch screens and other "generates a lot of pollution" items, where China doesn't care about polluting and so it's cheaper to make there.

        3. jmch Silver badge

          "That really is the crux of the problem: *real* electronic supply chains (not your hobbyist stuff) have lead times (at best) measured in months. Many times years."

          Which is why the major problem isn't the tariff in itself, it's the uncertainty. If this was a unified US policy that is going to be kept in place whoever is in power for the next 10 years, it isn't that harmful in the long run, as alternatives will spring up in other countries if they know the tariff on China will stay in place.

          But with 'diplomacy by tweet', you don't know if this tariff will still be in place in the next 10 weeks never mind 10 years. It's the uncertainty that's the real killer. (also valid for Brexit by the way)

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    Same old, same old

    Trump builds people/countries up drops them down then offers a new deal, better for him, worse for them but better than nothing.

    He does more or less the same pattern with everything from nuclear deals with Iran and NK to economic deals with the rest of the world.

    His endless apparently random tweeting is part of the same game, 'Never let 'em know what you are thinking or your plan for the end game' except it's pretty much always the same.

    He wrote the book( or someone wrote it for him, I imagine he kept breaking his crayons) and has obviously read it, The Art of the Deal.

    1. John Gamble

      Re: Same old, same old

      "... or someone wrote it for him, ..."

      Donald Trump's Ghostwriter Tells All.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Same old, same old

      Nah he is a biggly negotiator. Pelosi dog walking him after he caved on the shutdown was a one off (conveniently forgets the Putin BFF sh1tshow press conference). This time he will make sure at he gets some self dealing out of it at least.

      1. Trollslayer Silver badge

        Re: Same old, same old

        He can't read much more than two sentences.

        He is suffering dementia brought on by Alzheimer's disease which is carried down the male line and his father died from it.

        Also at a European meeting on TPP Angela Merkel spent twenty five minutes explaining how it work and one of his reported questions was "So it works both ways?".

        Oh and on military briefings there had to be plenty of charts and maps.

        The Republicans wanted a puppet, they got Mister Punch.

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: Same old, same old

          +1 for Mr. Punch reference. Beautiful.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Same old, same old

          ...Alzheimers?

          Wouldn't that mean that the people who are slagging him off endlessly are just making fun of a disabled person? And from a hereditary condition too, i.e. he was born that way?

          You Able-ist monsters.

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Same old, same old

      It's funny ; why do people still insist Trump has a plan ?

      He has demonstrated none of the higher cognitive functions required for foresight and planning. Not one. For fuck's sake he can contradict himself from one day to the next, there is no planning.

      The only thing he persistently does is masturbate his ego, especially in public.

      1. edris90

        Re: Same old, same old

        I am no fan of Trump. But his holistic and purposely confusing methodology has been quite effective in avoiding personal negative consequence for himself, while building his personal latitude and power over others.

        When you can thrive in what seems like chaos and dysfunction to others, no one can relate to you enough to know what you are about, and so effective interference from others is virtually impossible.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Same old, same old

          I agree with everything you said except for the word 'purposely'.

    4. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Same old, same old

      "He wrote the book...and has obviously read it"

      Those with whom he's "dealing" will also have read it and understand what he's up to. Who needs espionage when your opponent tells you what he's up to?

  5. JassMan Silver badge
    Trollface

    A variation on Martin Niemöller

    First he kept out the Mexican workers and the cost of services went up, and we did not speak out—because we were not Hispanic

    Then he upped the steel tariffs and the cost of manufactured goods wen up, and we did not speak out—because we bought ready made foreign stuff instead

    Then he upped the tariffs on tech goods and the cost of doing any kind of business became unprofitable, and we did not speak out—because...

    we could no longer afford a phone.

    1. whitepines Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: A variation on Martin Niemöller

      we could no longer afford a phone.

      Or because the phone you used to have was remotely bricked in the name of political stability decreasing phone theft.

      I've said it before, I'll say it again: cloud is just someone else's computer that can be turned off or against you in an instant. A single decree even. It's a lot harder to silence all those older desktops and laptops running Linux but hey, cloud is cheap (free even!) and phones are shiny shiny beads, no?

  6. GrapeBunch Silver badge

    This treat is not moo-rish

    So glad to be from Canada, where we are China's cow for at least the next 61 years.

    1. Reg Reader 1

      Re: This treat is not moo-rish

      Agreed! Harper that sold us to the Chinese and Trudeau now works within that framework. I think it's a 31 year contract, not 61 years, unless that has been changed since the articles were written. Either way it's a bad deal for Canada.

      In as much as I'm not a Trump fan I do believe that China and many other "developing" economies/governments have gotten a free ride on human rights, pay, benefits, healthcare. We in the developed economies cannot compete in any job because of the cost of living where we are. Some of you will say but the quality of work (sometimes due to culture) is lower, but that will change sooner than you think, much like manufacturing has. Our kids are stuffed if we don't throw away these harmful trade agreements and bring manufacturing back to the developed economies, especially for what has become essential materials/devices.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/31/justin-trudeau-kinder-morgan-pipeline-china-did-he-fear-being-sued

      https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/the-fipa-with-china-restricts-canadas-options-on-climate-change/article25184916/

      1. Reg Reader 1

        Re: This treat is not moo-rish

        Here's another one. There are so many articles questioning the viability of the Canada China FIPA:

        https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/fipa-agreement-with-china-what-s-really-in-it-for-canada-1.2770159

        To paraphrase the article, China can screw Canada in about anyway they want.

        1. Thrudd the Barbarian

          Re: This treat is not moo-rish

          Well they learned from the best that the USofA has to offer in that regard.

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: This treat is not moo-rish

        > I do believe that China and many other "developing" economies/governments have gotten a free ride on human rights, pay, benefits, healthcare.

        Exactly. And the Republicans are trying to Make America 'Develop' Again by cutting down on "human rights, pay, benefits, healthcare" (except for the 1%) by inflation (deficit), extra taxes (tariffs), cutting out socialism and killing ObamaCare.

  7. Sanctimonious Prick
    Mushroom

    Suck On IT

    I hope China says "screw you" and adds an extra 25% tax on the products listed. China doesn't need the US.

  8. Magani
    Unhappy

    Diplomacy Speech

    'China responded to the latest tariffs this week by saying that it "deeply regrets that it will have to take necessary countermeasures," '

    That's a nice inscrutably Asian way of saying "We'll see your tariff and raise you until your eyes water".

    What the blond coiffed one doesn't seem to realise is that China as a trading entity has been doing this for centuries. They learned their lessons in the two Opium Wars with the Brits. Donald-come-lately is never going to win.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Diplomacy Speech

      At least it's a timely example of the benefits of trading on WTO rules.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Diplomacy Speech

        "At least it's a timely example of the benefits of trading on WTO rules."

        And those same WTO rules say you can't place tariffs on a country, only on goods. So any other country making the same goods as China and exporting to the USA will be subject to the same tariffs. US buyers can't just shift to another supplier in another country.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Diplomacy Speech

          there are manufacturers inside the USA, by the way. And watch Trump rip up the WTO if it gets in the way. Wouldn't be the first time (NAFTA being a good example). "We need a new trade deal". etc.

          Seems to be working well, in my opinion. The USA should not subject itself to any legal entity other than our own Constitution. And that's just the way things ought to be. [same for every other country, really]

          Treaties and trade deals are agreements, not laws.

          1. elaar

            Re: Diplomacy Speech

            And that's why the planet is doomed.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Diplomacy Speech

            "And watch Trump rip up the WTO if it gets in the way. "

            It's quite possible you are right in that. One of the aims of the WTO is to encourage fairer trading agreements between countries which helps the poorer or less developed countries increase their wealth and stop the "big bullies" from exploiting them. It's a proven and demonstrable fact that if you help people out of poverty, everyone benefits. Seeing how the USA treats it's own poor, it's not really surprising that you expect Trump to want to shit all over the poorer and less powerful countries. The problem bullies have is that there might be a bigger bully around the corner or all the little victims gang together and beat the shit out of them.

            Trump clearly doesn't like huge multi-lateral trade agreements because he has to deal with many opponents at once. He'd much rather have many smaller and separate trade agreements so he can bully each opponent in isolation.

          3. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Diplomacy Speech

            "Treaties and trade deals are agreements, not laws."

            This is incorrect. By law, treaties are as much US law as any other US law.

            1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

              Re: Diplomacy Speech

              > By law, treaties are as much US law as any other US law.

              Many Americans fail to understand that US laws do not apply in other countries.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

          4. HausWolf

            Re: Diplomacy Speech

            Treaties have the power of law under the Constitution.

            1. Thrudd the Barbarian

              Re: Diplomacy Speech

              And they adhere to that how much of late?

          5. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: Diplomacy Speech

            "The USA should not subject itself to any legal entity other than our own Constitution."

            So why is your country so insistent on denying other countries the right to do the same?

            "Treaties and trade deals are agreements, not laws."

            Ultimately, laws are simply agreements between the population and the government. The difference is that the government can and will routinely use violence against those accused of breaking laws. The only difference between that and treaties and trade deals is that the other party usually has some ability to inflict violence back.

          6. Thrudd the Barbarian

            Re: Diplomacy Speech

            Except they have been ignoring that document at their convenience more and more often of late.

          7. Sanguma

            US Constitution Re: Diplomacy Speech

            You mean, bombastic bob, you've reached the grand old age of whatever, and you haven't clicked to the fact the US Constitution is a treaty, an agreement between the original Thirteen Colonies that later territories acceded to in order to become fully-self-governing states? I'm too scared to ask what you're smoking. You might want to give me some.

            Obviously you've never understood the little section that says:

            Article. VI.

            "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

            Obviously just fake news ...

        2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Diplomacy Speech

          > So any other country making the same goods as China and exporting to the USA will be subject to the same tariffs.

          Except there are 'exemptions' which may be applied. When Trump applied tariffs on steel and aluminium there were several countries exempted, including at least one that was obviously a corrupt benefit to Wilbur Ross's shipping company.

          https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news18_e/good_23mar18_e.htm

    2. cjrcl

      Re: Diplomacy Speech

      As a Chinese I am so delighted that UK people are supportive in mind. Guess the stucking in B r e x i t (spaces for I am afraid of censorship which is common around me) contributed somewhat to this sympathy.

      We are trying to improve but somthings cannot be changed overnight for example totalitarianism and national capitalism which are somewhat indispensible for a less advanced contry especially in a harsh world environment.

      Against the Trump people around are saying we need to resort to Maoism...

      1. Trollslayer Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Diplomacy Speech

        Good to have you here.

  9. redpawn Silver badge

    It is Art

    You just aren't looking at it right. Remember trump lost over a billion as he "wrote" his book. The "art" part is that enough people will buy it, then and now.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: It is Art

      I didn't say he was any good at it, for a start he seems to be a one trick pony and not particularly artful.

      The American economy seems to be doing quite well at the moment but I think that is in spite of his policies not necessarily because of them.

      Most of the seemingly positive things he hs done for the American economy like deregulation of many aspects of banking, product testing and environmental protection may encourage businesses to invest in more projects but are going to be relatively short lived in effect.

      I think he wants to make enough friends in the Billionaire's club that runs the States(World) in his time as President so that he can live of the benefits for the rest of his life.

      He's a sociopathic egotist he only cares about the first person he sees in the mirror each morning not the American people.

      1. Trollslayer Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: It is Art

        "He's a sociopathic egotist".

        Spot on!

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: It is Art

        > deregulation of many aspects of banking, product testing and environmental protection

        Which are all 'consumer protections'.

        Trump is protecting the ultra rich at the expense of the rest because only the ultra rich are bribing him.

    2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: It is Art

      > trump lost over a billion

      He may have fraudulently claimed that billion as _his_ loss (to avoid paying taxes) but most of it was banks and other peoples money that was lost by Trump. As they probably also claimed that loss (correctly) then I would like to see Trumps taxes actually audited.

  10. Grease Monkey

    Do these tariffs apply to all the "American" kit that's actually manufactured in China? You know Apple phones and the like.

    1. NATTtrash
      Trollface

      You beat me to it, I had the same thought...

      Buy Apple XS: $ 1149 (which is a "bargain", since it's given as a "promotional" price?).

      Add 25% == $ 1436.25. But then again, it's not that Apple buyers aren't used to sudden increases in price.

      It's a feature! Just let a Genius explain it to you!

      And yes, as others have said here: of course it's not the Chinese that pay. It's you (Americans). Not once, but three times. Once when you buy a Chinese (produced) product, when you pay the US taxes over the increased price product you bought, and when your tax money is spent to pay for the policy that is now executed in your name...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not quite. Tariffs are an ingenious way of getting more tax revenue without having noticeable effect on the people who donate to his party.

        Trump supporters want low taxes. Trump supporters want China punished for whatever the reason of today happens to be. Tariffs are sold as punishing China. Trump supporters happy.

      2. redpawn Silver badge

        Not the right maths. Coming out of China, $200. So with tariffs $250. Then comes the magic of a 25% increase on the final product once in the US. $1149 * 1.25 --> $1436.25. Apple comes out ahead $238.25 and can blame China for the full price increase.

        1. georgezilla Bronze badge

          And then watch the price not come back down when the tariffs are lifted.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Man's a fool

    He really does not have a clue. Oh........we knew that already?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Man's a fool

      NO, we did not "know" something that is BLATANTLY FALSE. This "we know" technique is often employed by the left, similar to the use of 'leading questions', and is part of the "fake news".

      1. elaar

        Re: Man's a fool

        "This "we know" technique is often employed by the left"

        If that fits your agenda....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Man's a fool

        If someone can't remember what they said emphatically yesterday, and the day / month / year before that, then calling them a fool is justified.

        Unless he's just senile.

      3. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Man's a fool

        "NO, we did not "know" something that is BLATANTLY FALSE."

        It's blatantly false that Trump is a fool? Even his own staff say he cannot read more than a page of text, and will only read a document if it relates to him, he gets bored and distracted otherwise. He agrees with whoever is the last person to talk to him about a subject before he makes his decision.

        Do you disagree with the eyewitness testimony of his staff?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is it with Trump and Taxes?

    Oh wait... he does not want his own Tax details made public.

    If they are then perhaps (just perhaps you understand) we can all see for ourselves just how good he is in business?

    Or perhaps not?

    Does his declaring Bankruptcy so many times not give us all we need to know already?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: What is it with Trump and Taxes?

      OK - want to make someone's tax records public? YOU first! Then we'll treat YOU the same, with an army of accountants and activists using a microscope to find a missing dot on an 'i', or a missing cross on a 't', or just simply criticize your life choices by putting whatever horrible spin is possible to put on them and then flaming you all over every media outlet and blog site that exists.

      We just got done with ONE witch hunt. But I know that Trump-haters want it all to CONTINUE in order to put as many roadblocks in the President's way as possible.

      Ask yourself this: WHAT would have happened if Republicans had treated Obama "that way" ???

      Hypocrisy, much?

      1. elaar

        Re: What is it with Trump and Taxes?

        "Ask yourself this: WHAT would have happened if Republicans had treated Obama "that way" ???"

        I would say claiming that Obama wasn't a natural-born citizen of the U.S.(for the main reason that he wasn't an old white man) was far worse than having past tax returns examined.

        Wasn't Mr Trump himself one of the people demanding to see his passport and college details?

        1. Trollslayer Silver badge

          Re: What is it with Trump and Taxes?

          That reminds me - Trump's academic details are hidden whereas Obama's is publicly available.

          Then again, Obama was president of the Harvard law society.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What is it with Trump and Taxes?

        Republicans never had to ask for Obama’s tax details because he provided them. As did both Bushes and Reagan. The possibility of a president bankrolled by a foreign government is one that deserves the closest scrutiny, whatever party nominates them.

      3. georgezilla Bronze badge

        Re: What is it with Trump and Taxes?

        " ... We just got done with ONE witch hunt. ... "

        Here's the problem with your statement.

        Witches were actually found. But you can't admit that, because then you would loose your bullshit talking point.

        But wait, you still would have your "but I'm the real victim here " bullshit. So your still good.

      4. Sanguma

        Re: What is it with Trump and Taxes?

        Mind if I point out that Donald Trump is now a PUBLIC OFFICIAL? We hold public officials to a code of conduct, just so they don't make off with the taxpayers' family silver ... or his family jewels. (You are not expected to understand this.)

        And since said US President Donald Trump once claimed he was a Businessman, it is incumbent upon him to show he could be trusted with making an honest declaration of earnings, liabilities, profits - because as a PUBLIC OFFICIAL in charge of an entire nation, he can do so much more damage than as a mere private citizen.

        All of which I learnt in what I worked out about Civics 101 in whatever school I went to.

        Call it a witch hunt if you like. I don't think you're playing Poker this time - I think it's Go.

      5. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: What is it with Trump and Taxes?

        "Ask yourself this: WHA"T would have happened if Republicans had treated Obama "that way" ???"

        Reps: We want to see your tax details!!

        Obama: I have already released them.

      6. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: What is it with Trump and Taxes?

        "OK - want to make someone's tax records public? YOU first!"

        Not just someone -- the President. If I'm ever President, I wouldn't hesitate, just like no other President except Trump has hesitated since Nixon started the practice.

      7. batfink Bronze badge

        Re: What is it with Trump and Taxes?

        In Norway, everyone's tax returns are public. What's your problem?

      8. Alister Silver badge

        Re: What is it with Trump and Taxes?

        Ask yourself this: WHAT would have happened if Republicans had treated Obama "that way" ???

        Bob, you really need to reach out and get a grasp on reality as it flashes past.

        Republicans regularly attacked Obama with questions about his place of birth, his race, his religion etc.

        They couldn't go after him about his tax records, because like every other recent President, he'd made them public.

  13. Paul 87

    Stupid part is, regional tarriffs can be avoided by big companies. Make the goods in China, ship them to a nearby third country to a distributor who gets at best a penny on the dollar, who tightens the final screw, or puts on the outer case and voila, product of the Phillapines ready for sale to the US

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      happens already by US Companies

      my employer does exactly that as it is, very large multinational. Its their pencilled in solution for brexit also for them. (if that stupid stupid idea happens)

      AC for good reason.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: happens already by US Companies

        It is a good reason, since your company's behaviour is illegal (faking origin).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >Stupid part is, regional tarriffs can be avoided by big companies. Make the goods in China, ship them to a nearby third country to a distributor who gets at best a penny on the dollar, who tightens the final screw, or puts on the outer case and voila, product of the Phillapines ready for sale to the US

      Rules of Origin would still have the goods as Chinese manufacture (unless the components were assembled into something else in the 3rd country).

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        " (unless the components were assembled into something else in the 3rd country)."

        In the US, that's how it's done.

  14. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    Tariffs are a blunt instrument that can be effective in the medium to long-term but cause significant problems in the short-term, especially if they change repeatedly, as has happened in recent months.

    I disagree. Tariffs can have good short term impact but only if it allows the affected industries to re-invest and modernise. Long term they encourage firms to rely on them and become less competitive on a global market because they insulate them from the economic realities. When tariffs are lifted they find themselves outclassed by the parts of the world which were not hooked on the protectionism drug

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Protectionism isn't just tariffs

      This is exactly the problem the US automotive industry has created for itself.

      By creating uniquely USA standards for vehicles in the 1960s and 70s they thought they were making a substantial import barrier by stealth (No WTO breaches) but what they were really doing was making themselves a captive market they could be lazy in, whilst simultaneously erecting a massive barrier to _exporting_ vehicles - noone would buy the overpriced, thirsty, badly built American products that were being foisted on them when those inscrutable folk from the east had already demonstrated it didn't have to be that way and in the process had forced all the other car makers around the world to up their game in order to survive. These days people would rather have a Skoda than a Chevrolet

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Ginger vaj really has no clue (about anything)

    the US owe China trillions and the twat ala-orange starts to tax them to heaven, yup hes very smarts, what happens when china realises hold on, YOU need ALL our products from your US companies manufacturing in CHINA and your "credit" chit is maxed out and repayment is now due?

    flip uncle sam the bird and concentrate on supplying R.O.W, the result, scary high taxation to the US masses, to fund repaying trillions of warbond "debt" that China have been throwing money at you for years, to cut you off and force repayment.

    Suppose they could always try a conflict to get out of paying, does not usually go down well though (outwith the weapons sales) if only this was a new phenomenon, asian companies outcompeting home grown products, welcome to 1970s UK (this is it at its best, give it a year or two)

    He really is a trouser trumpet championing new levels of retardation.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: The Ginger vaj really has no clue (about anything)

      The really painful thing for the USA is that if the clown-in-chief decides not to pay when those chits are called in - and he's openly threatened to do so - is that its utterly unlike his declaring bankruptcy where he took no penalties and stuffed all his suppliers.

      The USA reneging on its debts - any of them - would have immediate and far-reaching consequences for the country pretty much starting with oil suppliers insisting on cash up front - and not in US dollars.

      A trading currency is only as good as the confidence those using it have in it. We know there's a shitload less gold in the US Federal reserve than is claimed to be and it looks like they pilfered the stuff that other countries left there for safekeeping during WW2 (the UK has been trying to get its gold back since the 1980s and the US wobt hand it over). Reneging on a bond would be confirmation for most observers.

  16. wjake

    China's Fault

    Lots of partisan bluster here about Trump, his finances, his taxes, etc.

    However:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/08/china-backtracked-on-nearly-all-aspects-of-us-trade-deal-sources.html

    This is why there is no deal and tariffs:

    "The diplomatic cable from Beijing arrived in Washington late on Friday night, with systematic edits to a nearly 150-page draft trade agreement that would blow up months of negotiations between the world’s two largest economies, according to three U.S. government sources and three private sector sources briefed on the talks.

    The document was riddled with reversals by China that undermined core U.S. demands, the sources told Reuters.

    In each of the seven chapters of the draft trade deal, China had deleted its commitments to change laws to resolve core complaints that caused the United States to launch a trade war: theft of U.S. intellectual property and trade secrets; forced technology transfers; competition policy; access to financial services; and currency manipulation."

    A little actual information goes a long way...

    1. Trollslayer Silver badge

      Re: China's Fault

      Trump started it, China is pushing back.

      Tough.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: China's Fault

      "United States to launch a trade war: theft of intellectual property and trade secrets; forced technology transfers; competition policy; access to financial services; and currency manipulation."

      What they are whining about, China copying them ("stealing intellectual property")?

      All of those are standard US procedures globally, nothing new. So US launched trade war because someone other dared to do literally same things they do all the time.

      Oh, the american hypocricy in concentrated form.

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: China's Fault

      That's a bit like saying that a war is your opponent's fault because they had the gall to counterattack.

  17. Trollslayer Silver badge

    Global contract manufacturers

    I worked for one (Celestica) in the early noughties and they moved work around the world as it suited their needs.

    I doubt the Chinese companies will be able to do this easily because of their labour conditions.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FTR

    A trade war is a real war.

    You'd just better pray it doesn't turn physical.

    Or into a proxy war.

    The US is not making the world a safer place.

    1. Trollslayer Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: FTR

      If only you were wrong.

  19. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Bwahahaaa

    Talk about shooting oneself in the foot.

    4 of my US suppliers have already offshored all assembly in order to remain competitive outside the USA and the remaining ones are so dependent on imported parts that their pricing is now completely out to lunch compared to suppliers from other countries.

    HINT: The USA is not the world's largest economy and whilst significant, it's still a small part of the overall customer base.

    China's quite happy to play this game, because the USA's so self-focussed that it's giving them the economic win - AND "hearts & minds" everywhere else, in the process of cutting off its nose to spite its face. No problem. China will still be there long after Trump is gone.

  20. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    I don't get it, nor a signal.

    As a British citizen, you have an abundance of everything you require not only in currency, commodity, labor and previously successful manufacturing zones in decline. You look at the success of the experimental chemistry in glass manufacturing and much like our Kingdom, we seem to be enthralled in the main, by buying prepacked billing software, paying lawyers and indeed creating monetary obfuscation as opposed to considering why some areas have 7 bars of signal and others 1 or zero. Also at chip level, it's a game of mathematical comprehension not how easily a poor politician is bought as opposed to a rich one. #5barsofgov

  21. fredesmite2

    REMEMBER : CONSUMERS PAY ALL TAXES AND TARIFFS

    What a fucking asshole.

    China doesn't give a shit. Their 2b people are not going to see any difference because they have no control.

  22. devTrail

    Evil prejudice

    Trump is just an actor playing on behalf of big business, now he's is playing the role of the evil character and what does an evil character in the public minds is always considered negative. They are just using him as a brainwashing tools to persuade us that tariffs on China imports are bad. The discussion with China is mishandled on purpose. The timing of the most defiant announcements coincides with the peak values on the stock market, obviously the bankers warn him behind the doors that they are going to cash on recent gains and the markets will drop for a while.

    In the meantime, while this comedy goes on to persuade us that tariffs on China imports are bad, the Chinese with the belt and roads initiative are building their infrastructure to export towards Europe, not the US.

  23. dave 93

    Trump has to win an election next year, Xi Jin Pin doesn't...

    Trump has started his 2020 campaign tour already, now he has to spin self-inflicted consumer price inflation as a win...

  24. Andy Tunnah

    Sneaky

    He's basically introduced a new tax. His base will eat it up, all the while paying a bit more for a LOT of things. And it's the poorest who get more

  25. holmegm Bronze badge

    So ultra cheap slave labor is good now, because Trump is opposing it ... good to know.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not exactly. Chinese labour is a lot less cheap than it was, which is part of the reason why companies like Xiaomi are expanding into India. I doubt that a Chinese engineering graduate in Shanghai feels worse off than one in, say, Houston - and neither is likely to be other than patriotic and uninterested in politics.

      No, the problem is that Trump is risking war by trying to stop an Eastern country from modernising and expanding. The last time the US did this it was Japan, and that did not end well. The problem is that it left the US thinking they owned East Asia. The US is more like the Persian empire than the Roman, and the slow loss of the satrapies of Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines is not going down well. The rise of China and its dream of uniting the entire Eurasian region into one commercial unit in which it will be the largest power is probably inevitable, but Trump doesn't understand it and has no sensible plans to ameliorate the transition.

  26. gnarlymarley Bronze badge
    FAIL

    not totally truthful means it could be a lie.....

    An untruthful statement is considered a lie by the reg folks.

    Contrary to public tweets from the president, tariffs don't only hurt the country whose goods they are imposed on, they also impact domestic companies who are forced to pay significantly more for products and materials they ordered months or years ago.

    This statement is not entirely true. I know someone who walked into the local wallmart and bought something USA made that was cheaper their their China made stuff. If there is no alternative, then the consumer could be paying more. Most likely there is an alternative, which does not include the high cost of "shipping" of a production from another country, that is found cheaper in the USA. Wallmart (for reasons unknown) tends to hide those products over to the side so they are not easily noticed or seen. Yes a consumer (private or corporate) "could" pay more for something, but if it helps out my neighbor even for a few pence I don't consider me being hurt.

    Come on elreg. Don't forget the "can" or "might" in your statements next time! Leaving these words out leads folks to believe, it is one way street. This kind of negligence has lead to wars in the past.

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