Sept. 7 (UPI) -- New tariffs on Chinese imports could cause the price of computers and networking equipment to rise, costing consumers billions of dollars while slowing 5G network implementation, four major U.S. tech companies say.
Dell, Cisco, Juniper Networks and Hewlett Packard Enterprise wrote a joint letter to the U.S. Trade Representative seeking an exemption from $200 billion in new tariffs.
President Donald Trump uses the tariffs to combat what he calls unfair trade practices by China and other countries.
This latest round of tariffs, which targets computer and networking components, could be imposed as soon as Friday. It's unclear whether they will be set at 10 percent or 25 percent.
The impact for U.S. consumers could range from $2.3 billion up to $5.7 billion depending on how high the tariff goes.
"If USTR were to impose a 10-25 percent additional duty on networking products and accessories, it would cause broad, disproportionate economic harm to U.S. interests, including our companies and U.S. workers, our customers, U.S. consumers, and broader U.S. economic and strategic priorities," the letter reads.
The USTR has not responded to the letter.
China, the United States' largest trade partner, has had tariffs put on $50 billion worth of imports since July and the trade war shows no sign of easing.
Recent progress has been made in trade talks with Canada and Mexico, an important step to prevent Chinese exporters from sending goods to neighboring countries to skirt U.S. tariffs. Trade deals with the European Union and Japan also give Trump leverage to take on China.