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Apple Watch is safe, but China tariffs could still hit other consumer tech products

While Apple Inc. and the smartwatch business is safe from the latest tariffs the Trump administration enacted against China, there are many other potential areas of tech that could be hurt by the levies on $200 billion in Chinese goods.

Late Monday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued a final list of goods that will be subject to an initial 10% tariff, beginning Sept. 24, and then rising to 25% in January. While some products developed by Apple Inc. AAPL, +0.13% and Fitbit Inc. FIT, -1.09% were spared, after smartwatches and wireless earbuds were removed from the list at the 11th hour, other products — such as those that use printed circuit-board assemblies, for example — appear to be subject to tariffs.

In a brief statement late Monday, the Consumer Technology Association said that it appreciates the Trump administration’s removal of some consumer devices from the tariff list. However, the tech trade group that runs CES said it was especially worried about retaliatory tariffs, especially those on printed-circuit assemblies and networking equipment, which could hurt future investment into 5G, the next-generation telecommunications standard.

Networking and data centers also appear to be affected by tariffs on what is described in the list as “machines for the reception, conversion and transmission or regeneration of voice, images or other data, including switching and routing appa[rata].” Trump’s latest batch of tariffs are expected to lead to higher prices to a wide range of consumer electronics. Companies also now risk further retaliation from China, which could hurt even more products, since China is a significant part of the global supply and manufacturing chain.

Apple Watch is safe, but China tariffs could still hit other consumer tech products, MarketWatch, Sep 18
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