The ongoing trade war between the United States and China has stalled once again and the proposed 25% tariff on consoles manufactured in China has been put on hold until December 15th.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced that consoles, along with other tech including phones, laptops, and clothing and footwear, would not face the surcharge until mid December and has been suggested this is to keep the cost of products down in the run up to Christmas.
President Trump has said he had issued the delay “just in case” shoppers were impacted during the holiday season, generally the time when then most consoles and tech are sold. “What we’ve done is we’ve delayed it so they won’t be relevant in the Christmas shopping season,” said Trump. However, by this statement he is implying that tariffs would raise the cost of the products for United States consumers.
Recently, Sony finance chief Hiroki Totoki has told the Wall Street Journal that “Sony hadn’t decided how it would respond to an expansion of tariffs, but was studying its options, including asking consumers to bear part of the burden.”
“We believe, and therefore have told the U.S. government, that higher tariffs would ultimately damage the U.S. economy,” added Hiroki Totoki.
Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft joined forces to deliver a joint statement warning the United States government.
Tariffs would significantly disrupt our companies’ businesses and add significant costs that would depress sales of video game consoles and the games and services that drive the profitability of this market segment.
The same statement warned that “A price increase of 25% will likely put a new video game console out of reach for many American families who we expect to be in the market for a console this holiday season,” and it appears Trump has acknowledged that, whether or not he pays any attention the rest of the console manufacturers remains to be seen.