The United States and China have been engaging in intense trade negotiations for quite some time now. Both sides have attempted to get the upper hand by raising tariffs on the other, and the situation is still escalating. Unfortunately, there’s a very real chance that the video game industry will be caught in the crossfire. The Office of the United States Trade Representative has just published the list of newly-proposed import taxes. The list comes at the behest of United States President Donald Trump. A quick search reveals that video game consoles are on the list.
New tariffs on video game consoles
Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony all manufacture many of their products in Chinese plants. If these new tariffs pass, all of those parts will be hit with a 25% import tax. The current price is 10%, so that’s a pretty steep increase. Gamers could end up paying the price in the form of more expensive consoles and computer parts. The Entertainment Software Association has weighed in, expressing their disapproval.
The video game industry boasts a trade surplus for the American economy. Tariffs will hurt the American economy, its industries, and its consumers.
Donald Trump first proposed these tariffs late last year, but at the time no action was taken. Now the plans are in writing, and they could be made official in one month. Public hearings will begin on June 17, just after the video game industry wraps up E3. Depending on how the discussions go, the tariffs could be put in place as early as June 24. Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 28 at a summit of leaders in Japan. If the additional tariffs are not in place then, those talks will be key in deciding the fate of these plans.