Impact of Chinese Tariffs on E-rate-Funded Equipment

October 9, 2018

As you know, on September 24, 2018, the U.S. government applied a 10% tariff numerous Chinese imports, including many components and equipment that are eligible for E-rate discounts.  The U.S. government also has announced it will raise the tariff to 25% on January 1, 2019.   Not surprisingly, I’ve received numerous inquiries about how E-rate contracts and purchases would be impacted and whether there will be any special E-rate funding provided due to the tariffs.

First, please know that I will be speaking with FCC officials this week and next about these tariffs and the impact we expect it will have on the cost of E-rate equipment.  However, I do not expect the FCC will provide any additional funding or relief due to the tariff-related price increases.

Second, some manufacturers have already announced pricing increases, and we expect others will be making such announcements in the coming weeks.  Some companies are expected to increase prices of certain products, while others are planning to implement an across-the-board price increase on their entire product line (but at a much smaller rate than 10%).   For example, HPE has provided notice that their pricing increase will be 10% across the board, and will begin on November 1, 2019.

Therefore, I strongly encourage all PA schools and libraries that have E-rate-approved internal connections contracts to make these purchases ASAP before any pricing increases (or further price increases) go into effect.

I will keep you updated as I learn more.

– Julie

Julie Tritt Schell

PA E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 – o
717-730-9060 – f
jtschell@comcast.net
www.e-ratepa.org

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