back to article Incoming... Trump! Notebook makers ramp production to avoid next tidal wave of US trade tariffs

Notebook original design manufacturers ramped production in Q2 as the big brands upped their orders to swerve a US imposed trade tariff that, from December, will directly hit mobile PCs exported from China to America. According to stats collated by IDC, contract builders in the Far East assembled 39.7 million lappies in the …

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    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The problem with impeaching Trump

      Is that you just put Mike Pence in charge - and nobody wants that.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: The problem with impeaching Trump

        In my opinion, this is the single most powerful argument against impeaching Trump. Trump is a bad fever dream, but Pence would be a true nightmare.

    2. ZenCoder

      Re: I hope they impeach his ass.

      People like that are easy to manage.

      Praise them, ask them for help, hand them a proposal with an obvious flaw that appeals to them, give public credit for their input, offer to handle all the fine details. Thank them profusely for their wise leadership.

      PS it also works for any insecure people who are unqualified for the management position they hold.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: I hope they impeach his ass.

        Sure, that would work if you were the only one he is talking to. But if you push something reasonable like "don't deport sick kids granted visas to the US for medical treatment" he'll watch Fox News talking heads who say something different and praise him far more than your stomach can stand.

        Basically whoever has the strongest stomach to praise him and suck his tiny orange dick gets what they want.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I hope they impeach his ass.

      "All those tarrifs do is hurt the economies of everyone including America by forcing the _customers_ to pay more for the goods affected."

      US does not rule the world however much it might think it does. The tariffs are paid by US customers. Here in the rest (i.e. most) of the world they have no effect.

    4. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: I hope they impeach his ass.

      > It doesn't hurt the business so much as they just pass along the costs to us

      Price increases -> reduced sales -> reduction in production -> employee layoffs. This leads to fixed costs being supported by reduced gross profit. Loss of experienced employees means that if/when the tariffs are reduced/removed it takes longer/costs more to build up production again.

      The consequence is that manufacturers will try to absorb the extra costs in order to keep production up and keep employees expecting that the trade war will end. If it doesn't then the business may fold completely.

      I am not sure why you think that this "doesn't hurt the businesses".

      1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Re: I hope they impeach his ass.

        Yes and no.

        Most laptop designers and producers are in taiwan and china.

        The US companies either ask for certain features or buy the models. There are few options besides these ODMs.

        So, the brands have to pay more for laptops and mobile phones, and either pass those costs to their clients or pay themselves the costs.

        Now, with clothes they can eat the cost, clothes are very cheap to buy, but laptops and mobes have razor thin margins.. they will have to raise the prices.

        1. LeahroyNake Silver badge

          Re: I hope they impeach his ass.

          'Clothes are cheap to buy' may be correct if you have any sense.

          Unfortunately my daughter thinks spending £120 on a pair of bloody trainers is acceptable, apparently so do a lot of adults :0 I spent about that much on a pair of leather shoes, had them for 3 years and replaced the soles once. They still look new. Her white trainers made from what looks like plastic and rubber are 3 months old and she wants a new pair because they 'don't look new' unbelievable.

    5. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

      Re: I hope they impeach his ass.

      Impeach for what? Being a Russian agent? Writing the Electoral College system into the Constitution? Invading Syria, Yemen and Libya, leaving millions dead and 10s of millions displaced? Selling uranium to the Russians? Stealing the Primary from Bernie? Having sex with an intern in the Oval Office? Running an illegal server in his bathroom? Suiciding Epstein? Flying to the Caribbean with Epstein? Marrying his sister to get into the US?

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: I hope they impeach his ass.

        Emoluments

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I hope they impeach his ass.

        also: early onset dementia, doubling down on obvious lies.

        1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          Re: I hope they impeach his ass.

          "doubling down on obvious lies"

          Like? WMD in Iraq? Landing under sniper fire in Bosnia? Not having sexual relations with that woman? Carrying hot sauce in his bag? "Always" in favour of gay marriage? "Attacked" by Bernie bros?

  2. G R Goslin

    Aren't you forgetting...

    Yes, the tariff is paid by the customers, but it's paid to the government, so stays in the country and offsets other taxes (hopefully). The government will always spend, spend, but less of it will come from internal taxation.So where's the loss?

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Aren't you forgetting...

      > and offsets other taxes

      It doesn't offset the taxes paid by the consumer, they still pay taxes _and_ pay more for their goods.

      As these tariffs are likely to reduce corporate profits then it may reduce the tax on profit paid by companies and the very very wealthy.

    2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Aren't you forgetting...

      > but less of it will come from internal taxation.

      Yes, there may be less income tax when employees are laid off due to decreased sales, less company tax when businesses have less sales revenue, extra costs and thus less profits or go bust.

      Is that a good thing?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Aren't you forgetting...

        It's a VAT paid by poor people to fund $T in tax cuts. That's what plebs are for.

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Aren't you forgetting...

      "and offsets other taxes"

      Man, I envy your ability to engage in such lofty optimism.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Aren't you forgetting...

        I bet when Trump first discussed implementing tariffs on Chinese goods with his staff, he raised the idea that the tariff money could be put directly towards Building That Wall. I wonder how long it took them to explain to him the concept of Congress being responsible for setting budgets?

    4. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Aren't you forgetting...

      It doesn't offset any taxes. Yes, it will reduce the $1 trillion deficit somewhat, but it isn't like there's a section on the tax forms where I can claim a tax credit for "tariff paid" either as an individual or as a business.

      This is no different than if the US started collecting a sales tax on items imported from China that was rung up at the register when you pay for it. Except that doing that would make the tariff obvious even to Trumptards who still believe his lies that "China will pay for it". You'd think they would have figured him out now that he's stealing money from the military to build his wall rather than "making Mexico pay for it".

    5. Merrill

      Re: Aren't you forgetting...

      Good point. At these rates, it appears to be about equal to the taxes that would have been paid by the manufacturers if they had produced the laptops in the United States. So it obviates the tax advantages of manufacturing offshore.

      Plus, it is paid on the value at the border, so it isn't actually 25% (or whatever) of the retail price as the MSM reporting would leave you to believe. Depending on the product and how it is distributed, it is more in the range of half that at retail, given the distribution, marketing, retailing, and general and administrative expenses loaded onto the price within the US.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Aren't you forgetting...

        > it is more in the range of half that at retail,

        You don't understand how retail price is set.

        It may be that the tariff that had been paid was a smaller fraction of the retail price but retailers don't care about that, they just add their margin (up to 100%) to whatever cost price they have to pay.

      2. Missing Semicolon
        Stop

        Re: Aren't you forgetting...

        And this is the point that the moaners don't get. The effect of tarrifs is to make the cost benefits of importing less, so the economics of local manufacturing look better. The jobs "lost" in the short term are retail jobs. The gains long term are in manufacturing.

        Would you rather buy your phones made by slave labour?

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Aren't you forgetting...

          > The gains long term are in [local] manufacturing.

          No. They just move the manufacturing to Vietnam or Taiwan (or ship there to re-brand).

          The problem in your argument is the "long term". With Trump being so unstable no one knows what he will do tomorrow, there is no 'long term', all plans are dealing with what happened today.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Aren't you forgetting...

            >No. They just move the manufacturing to Vietnam

            Americans like winners!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Aren't you forgetting...

              Americans like wienners!

              FTFY.

              Fun fact: The internet is not in agreement on whether it's spelt weinner or wienner.

        2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Aren't you forgetting...

          > The jobs "lost" in the short term are retail jobs.

          """Trump's trade war with China has reduced U.S. employment by 300,000 jobs through a combination of eliminated jobs by companies struggling with tariffs and jobs that would have been created but weren't because of reduced economic activity. Moody's Analytics forecasts that the job toll from the trade war will hit about 450,000 by the end of the year, if there are no changes in policy. (Yahoo Finance)"""

  3. JohnFen Silver badge

    Welcome to the club

    I've personally been doing something similar: I've been stocking up on electronic components and subassemblies that I predict I'll need over the few years, because I'm expecting that these things will be increasingly difficult to find in the US.

  4. FrenchFries!

    QA

    A rush to build electronics. Oy vey, I'm not buying anything new from China. I'd imagine there will be more corner-cutting and less quality assurance.

    And economically, consumer confidence is going to take a nose dive in the USA.

    Trump is a scallywag.

  5. theblackhand Silver badge

    Two predictions

    With a huge number of laptops being dumped onto the market before December and the end of life of Windows 7, I predict:

    - a double digit drop in laptop shipments in 2020

    - Gartner will predict that the record number of laptop shipments in 2019 indicates a new market for slim, light super dooper ultra books that will revive PC manufacturers fortunes and promptly crater the following month.

  6. keb

    Taiwan isnt China

    so why worry?

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