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Dell, Intel, Microsoft, HP Oppose Trump's Proposed Tariffs

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Four U.S. technology giants have joined hands to oppose President Donald Trump's plan to include laptop computers and tablets among the $300 billion in Chinese goods targeted for tariffs.

Dell Technologies, HP Inc., Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. said in a joint statement posted online that the proposed tariffs on laptops and tablet devices threaten to disproportionately harm U.S. businesses, consumers and device manufacturers.

In addition, the imposition of tariffs on these products would not address the Chinese trade practices that the U.S. Trade Representative's investigation seeks to remedy, the companies added.

The tariffs, if put in practice, is expected to hurt the peak-holiday and back-to-school sales and substantially increase the cost of laptops in the U.S.

Dell, HP and Microsoft together account for 52 percent of the notebooks and detachable tablets sold in the U.S., while Intel supplies the microprocessors, memory, and other technologies for laptops.

In 2018, the four companies directly employed nearly 200,000 workers in the U.S. and spent more than $35 billion on R&D.

The tech giants noted that as U.S. laptop manufacturers rely on Chinese suppliers to satisfy U.S. demand for laptop products, transitioning to alternative supply sources is not feasible in the near term.

Any modifications in the supply chain would divert resources from investments in innovation, while the tariffs would provide a windfall to manufacturers based outside the U.S. that are less dependent on U.S. sales, the companies noted.

A recent study commissioned by the Consumer Technology Association or CTA estimated that the proposed tariffs will raise U.S. prices for laptops and tablets by at least 19 percent, or about $120 for the average retail price of a laptop.

A price increase of that magnitude may even put laptop devices entirely out of reach for the most cost-conscious consumers, according to the companies.

The hearings related to the proposed tariffs will end on June 25, and the tariffs could be imposed by the Trump administration after a seven-day rebuttal period ends on July 2.

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