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Technology companies just testified in Washington about how Trump’s next round of China tariffs could hurt them. Here’s what they said.

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Hundreds of company and industry representatives descended on Washington this month to testify about proposed escalations in the yearlong US-China trade war, which President Donald Trump has suggested could take effect soon after his planned meeting at the end of the week with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Speaking before US trade officials, many technology companies warned during the first two days of hearings that plans to target another $300 billion worth of imports from China would lead to higher costs for Americans and threaten US jobs.

The hearings were set to last seven days, with witnesses allowed to speak for five minutes each. Here’s what they told the Trump administration, according to US Trade Representative transcripts.


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Importantly, I want to emphasize that Best Buy is in complete support of the goals of the USTR as set forth in Section 301 report regarding forced technology transfer and other unfair trade practices … the application of new tariffs on these consumer electronics would not enhance the effectiveness off 301 action. – Jason Bonfig, Best Buy Co.

I’d also like to note that there is no valid reason to include our products on the list of items subject to the Section 301. We have agreements with our manufacturers that protect our intellectual property, and I can happily report that those business arrangements are working well. – Mustafa Ozgen, Roku

The imposition and increasing of tariffs both in round three and now in round four has created significant business uncertainty for iRobot as a small cap publicly-traded company. As a result, iRobot will not be able to increase its research and development spending, preventing it from hiring more well-paid, highly-skilled American workers. – Colin Angle, iRobot Corporation


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Although we build TVs in China, we design them here. We support them here, and we sell them here. Our jobs, American jobs, are here … We support fair trade and applaud the efforts of the Committee. However, the tariffs will have significant economic costs for consumers and numerous unattended consequences. – Jonathan King, TCL North America

Element is the only remaining American TV factory. We’re doing exactly what the administration is asking of American companies. We alone are fighting to re-shore and grow an industry that left America decades ago. Yet, if the administration proceeds to implement a List 4 tariff on LCD panels and mainboards, Element will be forced to permanently shut down its US factory and move production offshore. – David Baer, Element Electronics

The only result that will occur upon the imposition of these additional tariffs is that the supply chains of TCT and other companies will likely be forced to migrate to Vietnam, Mexico, or India. Such migration or relocation risks sacrificing U.S. jobs, including those small and minority-owned businesses currently in our company’s supply chain. – Jason Gerdon, TCT Mobile


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The imposition of tariffs does nothing to hurt China, but it does a lot to hurt our company. -Phil Poel, Ember Technologies

Frankly speaking, for the printing supplies industry, these tariffs do more damage to the consumers and intellectual property holders like HP than it will do to the IP infringing products. Such a result would conflict with the administration’s goal of minimizing economic harm to consumers and would not be effective in advancing the goals of the Section 301 investigation. – Andy Binder, HP Inc.

We also worry that these tariffs will impact competitiveness. The net impact of this trade action will be that firms not operating within the US will receive an advantage. – Mike Russo, SEMI

The additional tariffs on IT products would also weaken investment in new technologies, especially in technologies which United States maintains a clear advantage over China and other countries, such as AI, Cloud, big data, and analytics. – Devi Keller, Semiconductor Industry Association


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