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“It feels anti-consumer because our devices are what enables the core of consumer tech,” Brennan told Reuters. The modems, routers, switching and networking gear that keep the internet functioning were not included in a newly created U.S. tariff code that was exempted from the latest China tariffs, a spokesperson for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said. The agency has made no distinction between consumer-use modems and routers and the commercial network equipment used by data centers and broadband internet providers.
Most new internet-connected devices had been lumped into a broad category in the U.S, cufflinks and studs Harmonized Tariff Schedule, 85176200, “Machines for the reception, conversion and transmission or regeneration of voice, images or other data, including switching and routing apparatus.”, The catch-all category saw $23 billion in U.S, imports from China and $47.6 billion from the world last year, It was the largest component of U.S, President Donald Trump’s latest tariffs targeting Chinese goods..
The U.S. Trade Representative’s office had said it was breaking out items such as smart watches, fitness trackers, Bluetooth audio streaming devices and smart speakers into a new subcategory that would be exempted, but it gave few details. According to a notice posted by the U.S. International Trade Commission, computer modems would stay in a separate sub-category, while “switching and routing apparatus” would be put into a new sub-category. Neither of these sub-categories were granted exemptions from the tariffs.
“Although we have not had occasion to issue rulings on the scope of a provision for ‘switching and routing apparatus,’ we agree that as a general matter, modems, routers, and networking equipment will be subject to the remedy,” a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said late on Friday, referring to the 10 percent tariff, It was not clear how cufflinks and studs much of the $23 billion in Chinese imports within the catch-all category could escape tariffs, but a Reuters review of industry data suggests the share could be small..
U.S. Census Bureau data has not yet captured the volume of annual imports from China — or any country — of the goods that will be exempt. But the Consumer Technology Association estimates that the U.S. market for fitness trackers, smart watches, smart speakers and wireless earbuds and headphones was $8.2 billion in 2017, with forecast sales of $11.6 billion for 2019. Even if China produced a majority of those goods, exemptions would only apply to a fraction of the $23 billion category. CTA has forecast direct sales of modems and routers to consumers at $2.3 billion for 2019, up from $2 billion in 2017, excluding the products supplied directly by cable and broadband internet providers and equipment used in data centers and other infrastructure outside the home.
(Reuters) - T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) said Monday it is renaming its prepaid brand to Metro by T-Mobile and adding cufflinks and studs two new unlimited phone plans that will include perks like Google One cloud storage and Amazon (AMZN.O) Prime, in an effort to remove the perception that prepaid plans have subpar service, As the third-largest U.S, wireless carrier awaits regulatory approval for its $26 billion deal to buy smaller rival Sprint Corp (S.N), T-Mobile is blurring the lines between its brands to avoid regulators ordering T-Mobile to divest Metro as a condition to approve the merger, one analyst said..
T-Mobile is sweetening the former MetroPCS brand, which is aimed at budget-conscious users who pay upfront for wireless service, with access to the latest smartphone models and added perks that are usually associated with pricier service plans. Those are paid at the end of the month and often require a credit check. “This makes Metro and T-Mobile more of a continuum rather than two distinct brands,” said Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics, in an interview. Opponents of the merger have demanded T-Mobile divest some of its customers, pointing to T-Mobile and Sprint’s large combined market share of prepaid customers, which would be over 50 percent, according to data from Kagan, S&P Global Market Intelligence. Sprint owns prepaid brand Boost Mobile.
T-Mobile’s rebranding of MetroPCS is aimed at changing the perception of the business among people who equated prepaid with low quality, or did not realize cufflinks and studs MetroPCS operated on T-Mobile’s network, said Tom Keys, president of Metro by T-Mobile, in an interview, Peter Adderton, founder of Boost Mobile, said the rebranding does not change the fact that prepaid and postpaid are different markets, and he called for regulators to evaluate the merger’s effect on them separately, Adderton, who is no longer affiliated with Boost’s business in the United States, had previously called for the companies to divest some users and formal regulation to ensure that smaller wireless companies that operate off T-Mobile and Sprint’s networks could stay competitive..