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US considers 25% tariff on game consoles

Trump administration proposes tax on "essentially all products" coming from China as part of escalating trade dispute

The Trump administration's escalating trade dispute with China could have a significant impact on gaming in the near future. As reported by Game Daily, the Office of the United States Trade Representative has proposed a tariff of up to 25% on a wide array of products imported from China.

The US has been raising tariffs on Chinese goods in waves since the middle of last year. The newly proposed product list is the largest yet, representing an approximate annual trade value of $300 billion. (Tariffs on a $200 billion group of goods were raised earlier this month.) The USTR says it covers "essentially all" products not already covered by previous tariffs, apart from a select few categories like pharmaceuticals, medical goods, and rare earth minerals.

The extensive list of affected product categories includes video game consoles, game controllers, and coin-op arcade games.

The USTR has invited comments from the public in regards to the proposed tariffs and set a deadline of June 17 for those to be considered before action is taken.

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Latest comments (5)

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.A month ago
I really wish this administration understood that US importers and consumers are the ones that are actually paying for these tariffs.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing A month ago
It is not the message this is sending to consumers, the consumers will be fine. It is the message we send to China, which essentially is asking them to grind their factory workers even more into the dust to keep production prices competitive.

Meanwhile the current round of automation is calling the global concentration of electronics assembly to China for reasons of labor costs into question anyway. To offer a contrast, the Raspberry Pi is being assembled in South Wales. China's advantage today is not just the price at which they can produce, I dare say first and foremost, it is the scale at which they can produce.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing A month ago
@klaus I’d say the biggest problem is that we willingly shipped the manufacturing infrastructure to China. It’s not about where the assembly is, but where the literal nuts and bolts are
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing A month ago
@Jeff
I assume by nuts and bolts, you mean the core components such as CPU/GPU or RAM? In the case of the PS4 Pro, the chip design is by AMD California, the CPU/GPU die is made in Taiwan, but the chip itself is assembled in Malaysia. The RAM is made by Samsung Korea. Assembly is at a Foxconn (not a Chinese company btw) plant in China. All of it funded and driven forward by a Japanese company. Not to mention where all the base components are dug up.

In a sense, a console is a global product and there is nothing wrong with that, but this also means that due to the nature of some places, the human costs of the product may not be to our liking. That merely ends at a bridge outside a Foxconn plant, it starts in a West African sand pit. But as long as people fall for easy scape-goats and accept criminally simplified versions of the truth, people blaming China for everything will not be contested that hard.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 30 days ago
No I mean literal nuts and bolts.

The infrastructure of manufacturing was literally boxed up and shipped to China. All the base components are mostly no longer made in the US, so it doesn’t matter where you make the big pieces if you run out of screws and more are 4000mi and a month away
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