New China tariff victims are nerds, gamers, and your wallet

Chris Burns - Aug 2, 2019, 5:01pm CDT
New China tariff victims are nerds, gamers, and your wallet

Tariffs levied against imports of China-made goods mean higher prices for your favorite gadgets, gear, games, and collectables of all sorts. That’s the situation in a nutshell. Today, more than ever before, it’s become clear how major this disruption will be to your wallet. You, the SlashGear reader, the gamer, the smartphone user, the nerd – you could be any or all of these, and more. If you want to buy new games, gadgets, toys, or gear that were imported from China, you’re gonna have to pay up!

Our Gaming Consoles (and our games)

Back on June 17th, 2019, a letter was penned by representatives of the three biggest names in gaming hardware. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony – together – sent a letter to Joseph Barloon, General Counsel for the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). This was a letter made in response to a call for public comments on products imported from China that “could be subject to tariffs pursuant to USTR’s Section 301 investigation of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property (“IP”), and innovation.

Will the US/China trade war make PlayStation 5 more expensive than Sony’d planned before said tariffs were confirmed? Yes, you’re gonna pay more. If you’re in a situation where you’re a hardcore gamer who’ll buy your favorite console’s newest version regardless of the cost, yes, you’ll be paying 25% more money – or MORE – than you’d have otherwise had to pay.

Included on the pending list of tariffed products:
• Radio remote control apparatus for video game consoles.
• Coin- or token-operated games for arcade, table or parlor (o/than bowling alley equipment) nesoi and parts and accessories thereof.
• Video game consoles and machines, other than those of heading 9504.30.
• Game machines (o/than coin- or token-operated) and parts and accessories thereof.

Toys and stuff

If you thought just your gaming “toys” were going to cost more – THINK AGAIN! Remember the last time you went to your favorite comic book store or hobby shop and saw that awesome new action figure made to represent your favorite vintage character? Remember the last time you bought a Ninja Turtle or a Barbie?

Included on the pending list of tariffed products:
• Toys, including riding toys o/than bicycles, puzzles, reduced scale models.
• Collections and collectors’ pieces of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, anatomical, historical, archaeological etc. interest.
• Toys for pets, of textile materials.*

*What kind of MONSTER brings the family DOG to their trade war with China to be used as a bargaining chip? The answer: Someone who is not a dog person, not a cat person… basically someone who an American bald eagle would take a real peck at, if given the chance. That’s the sort of person that’d make your dog’s toys cost more because he wants China to think he’s a real tough guy.

As you’ll see now, or maybe already saw if you’re a big fan of companies like Super7*, toy companies are NOT taking this news lightly. *Shown below is Brian Flynn, founder of Super7 toy company, blasting a bit of info on Instagram this morning.

You can see the full compilation list of tariffed products over at USTR dot gov right this minute.

BONUS: Is that a bowling ball in the tariff explosion image above? Yes! Yes it is. Bowling equipment and accessories are on the latest list of items that’ll be tariffed coming in to the USA. As the latest list states: “Articles nesoi for arcade, table or parlor games & parts & access.; automatic bowling alley equipment & parts and accessories thereof.”

The missing link

I won’t, for even a moment, defend the actions and/or intents of the government in control of China right this minute. I’d love to gain a greater understanding of why these tariffs are coming, especially with regard to the steps between the launch of these tariffs and our government’s intended goals. I’ve investigated, I’ve read, I’ve conversed, and I’ve yet to find a convincing amount of evidence that the ends justify these means.

And yes, just in case you were wondering, China’s increased tariffs over the past year as well. This is called a “trade war” when, in reality, it’s a chest-puffing contest between the two country’s state government administrations, and in the end, nobody really wins.

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7 Responses to New China tariff victims are nerds, gamers, and your wallet

  1. And the rest of the world is laughing at the way Trump is destroying the US. It’s fantastic although I do feel sorry for the US citizens that’s going to be caught up in this Trump made nonsense.

    • If Sony were going to stop selling consoles at PS4, then sure. But this applies to all hardware from this point forward. If you’ve got a PS4 and only buy non-physical games, then yeah, who cares.

  2. How many people order from China and get the item properly listed on the customs label? 15 years ordering and never had one named properly lmao

  3. “I’ve investigated, I’ve read, I’ve conversed, and I’ve yet to find a convincing amount of evidence that the ends justify these means.”

    In a nutshell its about American corporations access to the Chinese market being blocked by demands from the Chinese government that intellectual property/technology be shared for access. This obviously doesn’t affect McDonald’s etc but for those companies that do want to keep their technology as theirs alone it is a big problem.

    You can understand how it would be insane for American companies to give up their intellectual property/tech to a Chinese company that will only force them out of business in China in due time with it anyways. So, they simply can’t do business there and keep their competitive advantages at the same time. This policy effectively blocks these American companies from China’s huge market and it remains a sticking point in negotiations that are otherwise 95% complete.

    The Trump Administration feels that proper access to the Chinese market for affected companies will help lessen the trade imbalance, improve the economy and score Trump a “win” that previous administrations could not accomplish.

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