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Analysis Of The Impact Of $200 Billion Tariff On The Electronics Industry (including PCB)

Sep 29, 2018

The United States trade representative's office (USTR) announced on sept 18, 2018 that it would impose a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of goods imported from China, effective on sept 24 and rising to 25 percent from jan 1, 2019.

At the same time, trump issued a statement saying that if China takes countermeasures, it would immediately adopt a third phase of sanctions, which would consider additional tariffs on about $267 billion of goods.

Later, China's ministry of commerce issued a statement saying that "China has to counter this at the same time".

On the whole: the trade dispute between China and the United States has expanded further, but it has landed better than expected.

After many rounds of trade disputes between China and the us, the us has formally imposed tariffs for the third time: us $34 billion on July 6, us $16 billion on August 24 and us $200 billion from September 24.

So far, the us has officially imposed tariffs on $250 billion of goods, accounting for 49.5% of the total us imports from China in 2017.

List from the point of actual landing, 200 billion final version involves goods subject declined from 6031 to 5745, and in the short term, levying the tax rate of 10%, better than 25% of the previous claim levels, mainly because most American companies at the hearing is strongly opposed to the tariff measures and said it is difficult to find alternative sources, thus giving relevant us companies some buffer time, and reduce the impact to the American people.

Focus on electronics: list changes little, eliminating smartwatches and bluetooth devices.

Compared with the initial draft of the $200 billion list released on July 10, the final version involves little change in the electronics industry, with notable omissions in product categories including smartwatches and bluetooth devices.

On September 5, A customer published A review claiming that non-core products such as Apple Watch, AirPods and keyboards were included in the $200 billion tariff list, which triggered market concerns about A customer's industrial chain.

Given the impact on American consumers, USTR ended up cutting some products, so the impact of the tax increase on consumer electronics was smaller than expected

In terms of subdivision, two additional duties have been levied on each subdivision of the electronics industry, and the specific impact varies from industry to industry.

1) semiconductors: $50 billion covers all integrated circuit products and some manufacturing equipment, while $200 billion covers wafer manufacturing equipment and semiconductor media.

According to the United Nations database, China exported 2.23 billion us dollars of integrated circuit products to the United States in 2016, accounting for about 3.5% of the total output value of integrated circuit products in that year.

About $500 million of semiconductor equipment was exported to the U.S. that year, compared with $18.7 million in total semiconductor media exports.

That amount includes goods that east China's companies export to the United States, so the direct impact of higher taxes on local semiconductor companies is largely manageable.

2) consumer electronics: when USTR makes the list, it avoids mobile devices and other terminal products. The new list further removes smart watches and bluetooth devices.

On the whole, the tax increase mainly targets at upstream processing equipment, components, etc., the proportion of direct export of such products to the United States is relatively low, and the proportion of income of most enterprises in direct export to the United States is less than 5%.

3) security: $200 billion covers a few security products, among which the analog camera weighs the most.

Currently, 6 percent of hisense's revenue comes from the United States, 5 percent from huawei, and the proportion of analog cameras in the product structure is small.

In addition, compared with foreign enterprises, haicang dahua has a price advantage of over 20%, so the additional 10% tariff will have little impact, while the additional 25% will have some impact

4) LED: the us $50 billion list contains LED chips, backlight LED, etc., while the us $200 billion covers many downstream applications, such as lighting lamps, etc. The products listed in the two lists are respectively worth $175/5 billion in exports to the us in 2017.

China's LED enterprises mainly export to the United States downstream, so the main impact on the LED industry is that the downstream application enterprises will be more constrained when exploring the American market.

5) PCB: the two additional tariffs involve products including color TV PCB and ceramic substrate, as well as other downstream PCB components, which belong to industrial middleware with relatively low export to the United States.

In 2017, China's PCB exports amount to about 14 billion us dollars, accounting for about 50% of the total output value, of which about 530 million us dollars are exported to the us, accounting for only 3.8 percent of the total exports.

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