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US approves tariff exemptions for PC, console tech

Crisis averted: U.S. relents and grants levy exemptions on key PC technologies

By: Derek Strickland from Sep 23, 2019 @ 16:12 CDT

The U.S. is granting one-year tariff exceptions to specific goods including power supplies, mice, PCBs, and graphics processors.


The U.S.-China trade war threatens to upend various tech industries with a steep 25% tariff tax, causing significant ripple-down effects across the entire supplier-to-consumer chain by raising manufacturing/shipping costs and MSRP. Major components like those used in consumer and enterprise computers and video game consoles were initially targeted, but U.S. trade regulators have relented by granting key tariff exemptions to specific tech including partially printed circuit boards (PCBs) for graphics cards (and consoles), mice in excess of $70, and power supplies that exceed 500W.

This should exempt graphics cards, video game console components, and most hardware using PCBs from the tariffs.

The exemptions are valid from now until August 7, 2020, which is before next-gen consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Project Scarlett systems are to arrive. To avoid the deadline, Sony and Microsoft will likely scramble throughout 2020 to get hardware manufactured and finalized so as to not be affected by the tariffs. But gaming's Big Three (Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft) are already reportedly moving out of China to seek new deals in South Korea.

All three major players warned the United States government that the tariffs would seriously damage the billion-dollar video games industry, and raise console prices for consumers.

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* Prices last scanned on 12/12/2019 at 11:35 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, please click for very latest pricing