What just happened? It's not often that we see tech companies unite to take a stand against something, but Intel, HP, Microsoft, and Dell have joined forces to object to the Trump administration's proposed tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods, which includes laptops and tablets.
As reported by Bloomberg, the four tech giants have submitted joint comments opposing the tariff escalation. They believe such actions would hurt consumers that purchase the goods and the industry as a whole, while failing to address China's trade practices.
"The tariffs will harm U.S. technology leaders, hindering their ability to innovate and compete in a global marketplace," the companies wrote in comments posted online.
The news comes just days after a study commissioned by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) predicted US price rises for several electronic goods if the new tariffs are imposed. Laptops are thought to be one of the areas most affected, with the current national average price jumping from $622 to $742, partly because China accounts for 90 percent of total laptop/tablet imports.
The companies say it will be "cost-conscious customers" who are hit hardest by the tariffs, adding that at best, they would continue using older laptops without security features. At worst, the high prices would force these consumers to go without laptops altogether. "School districts, in particular, operate on fixed budgets that cannot accommodate substantial price increases," the firms wrote. They added that the tariffs could also inhibit innovation, productivity, and job creation.
The government is hearing public comments on the proposed duties up until June 25.
In more optimistic news, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to meet at the G20 Summit in Japan next week in the hope of relaunching trade talks.