Apparently your flat screen TV is at risk of seeing a price hike according to the Wall Street Journal. If NAFTA breaks down, the Journal reports, Americans will see the cost of buying a new television rise. One importer tells the Journal that even at twice the price, the TVs couldn’t be made in America profitably. Robbie Whelan and Santiago Pérez report:
Ending the North American Free Trade Agreement risks shifting more production of TV components to Asia, prompting higher prices for U.S. consumers and not resulting in new American jobs, according to manufacturing executives and analysts.
President Donald Trump has called Nafta, which enables those televisions to enter the U.S. tariff-free, a “total disaster” that has cost the U.S. millions of jobs, and pledged to pull out of the deal if it’s not renegotiated to benefit American workers. A fifth round of Nafta talks, this time in Mexico City, ended on Tuesday with no major advances.
For some industries, including auto manufacturing, an updated Nafta with tighter rules could lead to some job gains in the U.S., economists say. But not for flat-screen TV makers.
That is because for decades, most electronic components have been manufactured exclusively in China and other low-wage Asian countries, and because U.S. assembly salaries to put those components together are too expensive to compete with them.
“America doesn’t even have the components in place to produce this product at twice the price,” said James Lin, chief executive of Unis Co., an importer in the City of Industry, Calif., who distributes millions of televisions made by Samsung, LG, Vizio and other brands.
Read more here.