Game Consoles Get Holiday Buffer from Impending China Tariffs

Proposed tariffs on Chinese-manufactured consoles have been delayed until December to help offset any potential problems they might cause to consumers.

According to The Washington Post, the White House announced a delay in the rollout of the planned 10% tariffs on some Chinese-manufactured goods, including video game consoles. Rather than going into effect in September, the tariffs won't be applied until December 15.

Alongside video game consoles, which are classified under HTSUS 9504.50 in the list of exemptions, other technology-related items such as laptops, home goods, and toys are exempt from the tariffs until December.

President Donald Trump said the decision is meant to offset any potential impacts to consumers and businesses during the holiday season, saying the move was "Just in case they [the tariffs] might have an impact on people."

Other tariffs, including those on food products, are still set to roll out next month.

As the Post points out, this delay is close to an admission that these tariffs could potentially affect the economy. It's a danger Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft executives — among many others — already warned the administration about in June, when they stated tariffs could have a ripple effect and damage the economy in several different sectors, not to mention their own businesses.

Possibly to offset potential problems, Nintendo even moved some of its Nintendo Switch production out of China.

Even more recently, Sony's Chief Financial Officer issued a statement claiming the company might have to raise PlayStation 4 prices and prices of future hardware should these tariffs come into effect.

On the other hand, it remains to be seen whether these tariffs will ever come into effect at all. They've already been delayed from their original July start date, with the Trump administration considering other concessions in the face of talks with China.

Additionally, economists warn that the possibility exists for the economy to enter another recession next year, with slowdowns in hiring and reduced spending. Implementing tariffs, particularly those affecting major entertainment and technology corporations, could potentially just worsen the issue.


Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.

Published Aug. 14th 2019

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