In the United States, President Trump has openly threatened China with an increased 25 percent tariff on all products coming from China. This has alarmed console manufacturers as the heightened taxes would force hardware prices higher in the U.S. unless those companies can move their manufacturing out of China or make them eat a quarter of the MSRP themselves. Sony has been upfront that this means higher-priced PlayStations, while all three manufacturers signed a joint letter to the White House discouraging these tariffs.
The administration today released a list of exceptions to these upcoming fees, but only a temporary one.
In a statement released today, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) listed out exceptions to the upcoming tariffs, which were scheduled to go into effect in just a few weeks on September 1. Those exceptions include but are not limited to “cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing.”
Those items will see the tariffs rise on December 15. When asked about the delay, President Trump said that he did not wish to affect the holiday shopping season in the U.S. While this does not actually solve the problems video game manufacturers have, it does offer a brief reprieve to perhaps seek other options for manufacturing outside of the U.S.-China trade war, which escalated recently when the White House officially designated China as a currency manipulator.
The tariffs were originally supposed to go into effect on June 1, but were delayed to the September date when President Trump said that trade negotiations with China were going well. There might still be a third delay, especially as businesses put more pressure on the administration, though that remains to be seen.
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Video Game Consoles Get A Temporary Reprieve From Higher Tariffs