Earlier this year, the United States Trade Representative proposed a 25% tariff on thousands of goods imported from China including video game consoles. This has since been reduced to a 10% tariff that was suppose to go into effect starting September 1. However, the United States Trade Representative has announced that it will be delaying the incoming tariffs on certain electronics such as cellphones, laptops, and game consoles until December 15.
According to U.S. President Donald Trump, the delay is to lessen the negative impact the tariffs could on consumers during the upcoming holiday shopping season. President Trump specifically stated, “We’re doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers, which, so far, they’ve had virtually none. The only impact has been that we’ve collected almost $60 billion from China – compliments of China. But just in case they might have an impact on people, what we’ve done is we’ve delayed it so that they won’t be relevant for the Christmas shopping season.”
President Trump’s ongoing trade war with China has already worried the video game industry some. Earlier this summer, the big three console manufacturers: Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo wrote a joint statement to President Trump asking for consoles to be exempt from the tariffs due to the impact the tariffs would have on the industry. All three companies have also started looking into moving production of consoles out of China to other Asian countries.
Once these tariffs do come into effect, it will be interesting to see what happens to the video game industry. The next generation of consoles is set to debut next year with the launch of the Xbox Scarlett during the holiday season. While there is no current release window, Sony’s PlayStation 5 is expected to launch around the same time. Only time will tell if these tariffs will raise the price of the next generation consoles as some already fear.