Tensions between the United States and China have been escalating in recent months due to the countries’ ongoing trade war, and the price of game consoles and accessories could be affected as a result. GameDaily reports that the Office of the United States Trade Representative has proposed implementing a 25% tariff on more goods imported from China, including video game consoles, controllers, and even board games like chess and checkers.
Tariffs are effectively taxes paid by domestic companies. To offset these expenses, companies often raise the prices of products affected by tariffs, passing the cost onto consumers who end up paying more for certain items. While game consoles would be swept up in the last wave of tariffs, they are far from the only products that would be affected; thousands of goods manufactured in China would be subject to the tariff.
This certainly isn’t the first instance where the Trump administration’s hardline stance against China has had negative repercussions for the video game industry. The US already imposes a 10% tariff that affects some Nvidia and AMD graphic cards manufactured in China. If the new tariff is implemented, it could cause console makers to increase the prices of their systems in order to recoup the added expense.
The news comes just as the video game industry is gearing up for a new generation of consoles. Sony has in recent weeks been revealing details about its next-generation PlayStation, while Microsoft is known to be working on a next-gen Xbox, which rumors suggest could be unveiled at E3 2019. New video game consoles already carry a fairly hefty price tag, and that price could only rise if the new tariff is indeed imposed.
The United States Trade Representative will hold public hearings about the proposed tariff on June 17, shortly after E3 2019 ends. The result of those hearings will determine whether or not the tariff is implemented. If the USTR does go through with the tariff, it could go into effect as soon as June 24, according to GameDaily.