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Trump Tariffs Increase Tech Costs for Schools

The Trump tariffs are also supporting his war on education, as recklessly taxing Americans for buying goods made in China is limiting students’ access to educational technology:

For the Green Bay district, those consequences have been extensive. [Chief technology and information officer Diane] Doersch and her colleague, Joshua Patchak, Green Bay’s executive director of technology, said that most of Green Bay’s tech vendors have upped prices since last July, straining the district’s fixed — and already decreasing — technology budget.

“Initially, manufacturers were trying to play it cool. They said, ‘Yeah, we’ll get past this, the tariffs will be gone before we’re forced to increase our prices, or we’re not impacted by the price increase for this particular technicality,’” Patchak said. “But as the year has progressed, we’ve seen a lot of those vendors come around to the point where their prices are going up.”

Patchak said that the tariffs impacted nearly all of the technology the district purchases — laptops, monitors, display technology, Wi-Fi routers, and even service providers who rely on products manufactured in China to do their work. He said most prices from the district’s vendors rose by 10 percent, and in some cases they rose 15 percent.

The price increases are so widespread among technology providers because they come as a result of tariffs on key electronics and machine components — such as circuit boards, electric conductors, and batteries — that are often exported from China and then assembled domestically. In many cases, there are no alternative sources for the goods [Katya Schwenk, “Tariffs on China Limit Students’ Access to Technology, Warn Educators,” EdScoop, 2019.06.19].

Notice that those price increases have already happened. They aren’t ameliorated by Trump’s about-face on new tariffs last weekend when he couldn’t stare down President Xi. And they aren’t ameliorated by the Trump Administration’s lack of enthusiasm for funding the broadband that schools need to expand to meet modern educational needs.

One Comment

  1. Donald Pay 2019-07-03 21:22

    People have no idea what Trump’s tariffs are doing to this economy, or to their property taxes. Taxes will have to go up to pay for Trump’s folly, or kids get to pay for it with outdated or malfunctioning technology.

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