By Jacqueline Corba
Proposed U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods are essentially an "attack" against the American consumer, said the Consumer Technology Association's director of strategic communications, Izzy Santa.
"The whole entire internet, and all the devices along with it, will be taxed," Santa said Monday in an interview on Cheddar. "In order for products to work, they need to be connected to the internet and the data centers that support that information are also going to be taxed under tariffs."
Six days of off-camera hearings on the state of the trade wars began Monday with nearly 360 people set to testify about the proposed U.S. sanctions on Chinese goods. CTA, along with a number of its member companies, are among those on the docket.
Santa said this is a crucial moment for businesses and the American public to rally against tariffs.
"Now is really the time for businesses to get involved and really dig into their companies and figure out how tariffs are going to impact them," she said. "This is a very important time in history."
A first round of 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, mostly industrial equipment like water boilers and x-ray machine components, went into effect in July. Levies on an additional $16 billion imports ー which include tractors, speedometers, and motorcycles, kick in Thursday. The Trump administration has threatened to tax an addition $200 billion of more consumer goods like furniture, bicycles, and cradles.
According to a recent report by the CTA, the tariffs may cause consumers to pay up to $3.2 billion more in 2019 for electronic products, including smart speakers, smartwatches, and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Santa said that costs may rise even higher than the CTA anticipates.
"We just don't know the final hit, because we're still in the proposal stage with the federal government," she said.
For Santa, the stakes ー and the economic repercussions ー are high.
"The economy is going to suffer."
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