Donald Trump is short-circuiting the electronics industry

For more than a year now, President Donald Trump has been playing chicken with China, instituting increasingly expensive tariffs to add pressure for a trade deal that never seems to materialize. So far, those tariffs have kept clear of consumer goods like smartphones or televisions, with the most damaging taxes restricted to intermediary products like soybeans or steel. But after talks broke down last week, a new set of tariffs pulled those products into the trade war, creating a nightmare scenario for the tech industry.

On Monday, the US Trade Representative (USTR) laid out plans to tax laptop and smartphone imports by as much as 25 percent, breaking into the kind of high-profile, price-sensitive goods that previous rounds had avoided….

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