Proposed China Tariff Could Impact Lighting

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Reuters and Politico both reported President Trump is planning to impose tariffs against China by up to $60 billion in an effort to decrease the Chinese trade surplus.  The tariff would target information technology, consumer electronics, and telecoms, but eventually could reach more than 100 products.

Many LED lighting components sold in the U.S. are manufactured in China and could be impacted by the tariff. Plus, many Chinese-based lighting companies are selling LED lighting in the U.S., which is a key factor in driving down LED prices.

Politico reports the the U.S. Trade Representative‚Äôs Office proposed $30 billion in tariffs on China, and the president said that was not a big enough amount.  It was later re-worked to $60 billion.  The White House has not commented on the report.

The tariffs target Chinese companies that use U.S. patents or technology secrets to make products in exchange for the opportunity to operate in China.  Washington also considers the use of intellectual property by Chinese companies to be unfair.

Reuters is reporting Chinese officials saying if the U.S. takes the tariff action, it will have to take similar measures, although those measures were not discussed in detail.  China currently has a $375 billion trade surplus with the United States. During a recent meeting with Chinese officials, President Trump asked for a way to bring that number down.

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