Chip Crisis Escalates: 3 Semiconductor Stocks to Sell on 50% China Tariffs

Stocks to sell

Trade tensions between the world’s two largest economic powerhouses, the United States and China, resume. The Biden Administration has chosen to not only continue with Trump-era economic policy that has pitted the two countries against one another but also sought to intensify matters. In an announcement that came out in mid-May, the current administration announced a new package of tariffs on a range of Chinese goods. The 100% tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) consumed the space of most headlines, but this article is focused on the semiconductor piece. The tariff rate on Chinese-made semiconductor products will rise from 25% to 50%, hurting many semiconductor stocks to sell.

In their fact sheet, the Biden Administration outlined their concerns about Chinese semiconductor products absorbing 50% of the world’s capacity, particularly for “legacy wafers.” The fact sheet also highlighted the administration’s goal to reshore semiconductor manufacturing to the United States. While analysts are mixed about the long-term success of these tariffs, there are several semiconductor stocks to sell that will take a hit from them. Below are just three of them.

Intel (INTC)

Source: JHVEPhoto /

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is one of America’s largest and most significant semiconductor firms. The company designs and manufactures central processing units that are not only critical for laptops and desktops but also for powering data centers that have become so crucial to people’s consumption and usage of the internet. Unfortunately, Intel has come under fire due to recent export controls and tariffs directed towards China. For example, Huawei released the MateBook X Pro, which was the tech firm’s first AI-powered laptop leveraging an Intel CPU. U.S. regulatory agencies reacted quickly and revoked Intel’s export license for these kinds of chips.

Outside of selling chips to certain Chinese companies, Intel is also at risk of the increased tariffs. Intel does own manufacturing facilities inside of China and in their most recent SEC filing Form-10K, the semiconductor firm notes that “geopolitical and trade tensions between the US and China, one of our largest markets, have led to increased tariffs and trade restrictions, including tariffs applicable to some of our products.”

How these new tariffs will impact the pricing of Intel’s products (and which ones) is unknown at this point. What is clear is that these tariffs will have a negative impact on this and other semiconductor stocks to sell.

Texas Instruments (TXN)

Source: Katherine Welles /

Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) is another legacy semiconductor firm based in the United States. While math students might know them for their calculators, this semiconductor firm particularly specializes in designing and manufacturing analog and embedded devices. I’ve been cautious in the past about investing in this legacy business. It’s not clear if Texas Instruments can successfully expand into rapid growth markets like AI or cloud computing, and the firm’s revenue growth in recent years has been volatile, to say the least.

A solid quarterly report released in late April coupled with a higher-than-expected revenue forecast have injected some enthusiasm into investors. Despite the optimism, Texas Instruments is another company that could be impacted by the increase in semiconductor tariffs. The company identifies tariffs and escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China as risks for the marketability of its products. Last year, 20% of the company’s revenue came from China specifically. Escalating trade tensions as well as the rise of China’s domestic semiconductor industry could put Texas Instrument’s China business at significant risk.

Micron Technology (MU)

Source: Charles Knowles /

Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) specializes in designing and selling a variety of memory products. This includes NAND flash memory as well as random-access-memory (RAM) products including, SRAM and DRAM. Demand for artificial intelligence-enabling chips has led to subsequent demand for sophisticated memory chips. In particular, Micron’s high-bandwidth memory (HBM) chips will be a key component to Nvidia’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) H200 chips.

However, geopolitical headwinds are in the company’s midst. Not only have U.S. officials restricted Micron’s ability to sell certain chips to Chinese firms, but China has also slapped back with an effective ban on Micron’s products for firms working on key infrastructure products. While these new 50% tariffs on China’s semiconductor products will likely not affect Micron directly, the precipitous rise in tensions will. The rise of China’s Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) and ChangXin Memory Technologies (CXMT) are just a taste of some of the unintended consequences of trade escalations. These could be bad for MU shares in the long run.

On the date of publication, Tyrik Torres did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Tyrik Torres has been studying and participating in financial markets since he was in college, and he has particular passion for helping people understand complex systems. His areas of expertise are semiconductor and enterprise software equities. He has work experience in both investing (public and private markets) and investment banking.

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