In a letter dated June 17, 2019 to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony argue that video game consoles should be excluded in the Trump administration’s proposed tariffs on Chinese imports.
In July of 2018, the Trump administration proposed expanding tariffs on Chinese imports and widening the kinds of goods affected, following time for public comment. This proposed tariff would include major gaming consoles and could potentially result in American consumers paying upwards of 25% more for gaming hardware, with the additional cost going towards the United States government.
In their joint letter, the gaming companies list several reasons for why these tariffs would harm the U.S. and gaming companies based in the United States. These arguments include the slowing of economic growth created by gaming companies, the interruption of delicate supply chains tied to the gaming industry, how the tariffs would harm small and medium-sized software developers, the stifling of technological innovation, and the ineffective nature of the proposed tariffs.
Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have yet to comment on how these tariffs would specifically affect the pricing of their consoles. Other companies in the technology sector, such as Apple and Intel, have also come out against the proposal.
Additionally, whether these proposed tariffs will go into effect is unclear at this time. Negotiations between the Trump administration and China are still ongoing, and these tariffs could be suspended depending on the results of upcoming economic summits.
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