The Trump administration’s announcement that it won’t impose new tariffs until after the holiday shopping season is good news for console makers alarmed by the course of the trade war between the United States and China. Many considered that this would be a major blow to consumers as many stores would have begun stocking for the holiday season.
The 25 percent tariffs would cover a large spectrum of Chinese-made goods, including many electronics, such as game consoles. The Trump administration said they would be delayed until Dec. 15, which gives U.S. retailers time to stock shelves for the holidays. Not to mention there would be less stock and higher prices and could bring a dismal holiday season for retailers.
Many video game consoles, peripherals, and other accessories are made in Chinese factories. In June, Nintendo said it was moving some of its Switch production out of China in light of threatened tariffs.
In June, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo gave a seven-page joint statement to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, outlining the size of the video games business and the damage such a tariff could do. Holiday sales were specifically cited in their opposition.
Passing along an estimated $840 million cost to American consumers would likely “put a new video game console out of reach for many American families … this holiday season,” they said. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo also said noted that ripple effects could threaten more than 200,000 American jobs.
The tariffs are part of a larger hardball strategy the administration has taken with China, which includes an ongoing dispute over theft of U.S. intellectual property. Though the three console manufacturers said they appreciated efforts to protect U.S. interests in those matters, “the disproportionate harm caused by these tariffs … will undermine — not advance — these goals.”
Some many consider this a pull back in favor of American businesses or a blink by the Trump administration to (again) fail to live up to a promise. Many people that this was simply another threat that he had no intention of living up to, like all his other threats.