Trump tariffs video game consoles china nintendo sony microsoft

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.

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Ben Lamoreux
Nintendo Enthusiast's Managing Editor. I grew up on Super Nintendo and never stopped playing. Been writing video game news, opinions, reviews, and interviews professionally for over a decade. Favorite franchises include Zelda, Metroid, and Mother.

26 Comments

  1. They targeted gamers.

    Gamers.

    We’re a group of people who will sit for hours, days, even weeks on end performing some of the hardest, most mentally demanding tasks. Over, and over, and over all for nothing more than a little digital token saying we did.

    We’ll punish our selfs doing things others would consider torture, because we think it’s fun.

    We’ll spend most if not all of our free time min maxing the stats of a fictional character all to draw out a single extra point of damage per second.

    Many of us have made careers out of doing just these things: slogging through the grind, all day, the same quests over and over, hundreds of times to the point where we know evety little detail such that some have attained such gamer nirvana that they can literally play these games blindfolded.

    Do these people have any idea how many controllers have been smashed, systems over heated, disks and carts destroyed 8n frustration? All to latter be referred to as bragging rights?

    These people honestly think this is a battle they can win? They take our media? We’re already building a new one without them. They take our devs? Gamers aren’t shy about throwing their money else where, or even making the games our selves. They think calling us racist, mysoginistic, rape apologists is going to change us? We’ve been called worse things by prepubescent 10 year olds with a shitty head set. They picked a fight against a group that’s already grown desensitized to their strategies and methods. Who enjoy the battle of attrition they’ve threatened us with. Who take it as a challange when they tell us we no longer matter. Our obsession with proving we can after being told we can’t is so deeply ingrained from years of dealing with big brothers/sisters and friends laughing at how pathetic we used to be that proving you people wrong has become a very real need; a honed reflex.

    Gamers are competative, hard core, by nature. We love a challange. The worst thing you did in all of this was to challange us. You’re not special, you’re not original, you’re not the first; this is just another boss fight.

  2. They targeted gamers.

    Gamers.

    We’re a group of people who will sit for hours, days, even weeks on end performing some of the hardest, most mentally demanding tasks. Over, and over, and over all for nothing more than a little digital token saying we did.

    We’ll punish our selfs doing things others would consider torture, because we think it’s fun.

    We’ll spend most if not all of our free time min maxing the stats of a fictional character all to draw out a single extra point of damage per second.

    Many of us have made careers out of doing just these things: slogging through the grind, all day, the same quests over and over, hundreds of times to the point where we know evety little detail such that some have attained such gamer nirvana that they can literally play these games blindfolded.

    Do these people have any idea how many controllers have been smashed, systems over heated, disks and carts destroyed 8n frustration? All to latter be referred to as bragging rights?

    These people honestly think this is a battle they can win? They take our media? We’re already building a new one without them. They take our devs? Gamers aren’t shy about throwing their money else where, or even making the games our selves. They think calling us racist, mysoginistic, rape apologists is going to change us? We’ve been called worse things by prepubescent 10 year olds with a shitty head set. They picked a fight against a group that’s already grown desensitized to their strategies and methods. Who enjoy the battle of attrition they’ve threatened us with. Who take it as a challange when they tell us we no longer matter. Our obsession with proving we can after being told we can’t is so deeply ingrained from years of dealing with big brothers/sisters and friends laughing at how pathetic we used to be that proving you people wrong has become a very real need; a honed reflex.

    Gamers are competative, hard core, by nature. We love a challange. The worst thing you did in all of this was to challange us. You’re not special, you’re not original, you’re not the first; this is just another boss fight.

  3. Politicians trying to erase microtransactions and loot boxes, and now this.

  4. Well if it’s just consoles I–
    “..and computer parts”

    — Oh; damn.

  5. Politicians trying to erase microtransactions and loot boxes, and now this.

  6. Well if it’s just consoles I–
    “..and computer parts”

    — Oh; damn.

  7. I’d say this will get gamers to vote… but… LOL, no it won’t.

    Oh well, people enjoy the racist, orange-skinned monster. So let him do what he wants to get his way. As long as the upper 1% get richer and the rest of us are hit with more taxes, it’s win win, right?

  8. They will sell at a loss and eat the cost. Nintendo sony and microsoft spend millions researching the perfect price to get money and subvert parents into thinking its not that much. There is an entire psychology in pricing, also all three companies are smart enough to not come out and go “blame your president”

    1. The agency that represents them, the ESA, literally issued a message saying this is a terrible move that will be bad for the industry. So the companies themselves may not, but their voice in government sure is.

  9. They will sell at a loss and eat the cost. Nintendo sony and microsoft spend millions researching the perfect price to get money and subvert parents into thinking its not that much. There is an entire psychology in pricing, also all three companies are smart enough to not come out and go “blame your president”

  10. Well that why everyone should get a Pc and ditch the consoles

    1. PC Parts are made in China. They’ll suffer as well.

  11. Well that why everyone should get a Pc and ditch the consoles

  12. Oh great more of an incentive not to support gaming anymore time to find another hobby then..

  13. GaMeRs RiSe Up

  14. More reason to just go to straight PC gaming

  15. Great. I already can barely afford my collection…

  16. Yeah, go fuck yourself, Trump. These tariffs help no one.

    1. So you feel the Chinese should just keep ripping us off?

    2. He is a stupid clown. I’m not saying don’t deal with China, but there has to certainly be better & smarter ways or at the least a better thought out process.

  17. Its already really expensive to buy these games and they want even more money? A complete game cost $99 plus tax now. Consoles cost from $300 to $400 and next generation is going to be around $500-$600.

  18. As long as China breaks first I don’t care.

    1. China doesn’t need us. They can keep the trade for going for decades and be fine.
      We are not in the same position. Even if we got to the point where companies started opening factories here because it became cheaper to produce here to avoid the tariffs getting those facilities up and running could take years. During which time everyone is going to have less money to spend on pleasure items due to the prices of everything they buy spiking.
      That 500 dollar gaming console you were going to buy now spikes to 625 and becomes out of your price range because you need that money for the light bill. That new car you were thinking about buying just shot up by 25,000 dollars. Far out of your price range.
      Even stores that sell essentials will see less business because now that 200 you use for food is the same even though buying all your usual stuff now costs around 250.
      Not to mention certain parts and elements, like lithium which is used for computer batteries, have to be imported because they can’t be found in the US.

      1. 15% of foreign imports come from china. We don’t need china. Period. Other manufacturers will change location to need a perceived demand. Foxcon has a brand new plant in the US. The very fact you think a car will increase by 25k simply indicates you have no clue how trade works.

        1. Ummm. You should do some reading about that foxconn factory you mentioned. It not brand new at all because it doesn’t even exist. Stop talking about shit you know nothing about. https://gizmodo.com/foxconn-so-about-that-factory-in-wisconsin-you-offere-1834259186

        2. Are you talking about the one in Wisconsin? Because that doesn’t exist. If it DOES get built as planned, Wisconsin agreed to play Foxconn BILLIONS in return. Most economists don’t think it will pan out in our favor, and the optimistic ones say it’ll take several decades for us to stop losing money on the deal.

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