US could impose 25% tariff on game consoles

ESA says “tariffs will hurt the American economy, its industries, and its consumers”

The Trump administration could impose new or revised tariffs in the region of 25% on 1,000s of products, including game consoles, as part of its escalating trade war with China.

The US has already imposed tariffs on more than $250 billion worth of Chinese products, including a 10% tariff that impacts graphics card makers AMD and Nvidia, and games consoles are among the latest Chinese goods to come under threat.

They’re included on a new proposed product document published by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, as are game controllers and coin-op arcade games.

The proposed product list has an approximate annual trade value of $300 billion and “covers essentially all products not currently covered by action in this investigation”.

Should the new tariffs be imposed, the price of the affected items could rise if export and import firms and manufacturers choose to pass on the cost to recoup some of their additional expenses.

Game consoles are typically sold at as loss. However, a tariff of 25% would likely force manufacturers to push up prices in an attempt to recoup some of the additional expense.

“The video game industry boasts a trade surplus for the American economy,” the Entertainment Software Association, the trade body which represents the US video games industry, told GameDaily.biz. “Tariffs will hurt the American economy, its industries, and its consumers.”

The Office of the US Trade Representative will hold a public tariff hearing on June 17, ahead of potential action being taken.