President Donald Trump is influencing the gaming world, proposing a 25% tariff on consoles that are manufactured from China. The Chinese, a massive competitor to the United States, produce a majority of Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony consoles for the globe. The proposal may go as far as risking the jobs of over 200,000 Americans as it would influence a 25% increase in cost for the American developers, including the major companies and smaller businesses. The trade war with China and the US could also see an increase in costs of game consoles, as the supply could be significantly dropped in terms of shipping to the US.
Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have jointly sent a letter to the Trump administration and the Office of the United States Trade Representative group, asking video game consoles to be removed from a particular list of potential goods that are covered by the incoming tariff. The three major companies relay the problems with the tariff and its influence in America, including a stifling in innovation, threatening jobs for video game developers and retailers, and most of all, hurting the consumer.
“While we appreciate the Administration’s efforts to protect U.S. intellectual property and preserve U.S. high-tech leadership, the disproportionate harm caused by these tariffs to U.S. consumers and businesses will undermine — not advance — these goals,” the statement from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo says, according to Polygon. “Accordingly, we respectfully request that the Administration remove HTSUS subheading 9504.50.00, covering video game consoles, from the final list of tariffs, and thus refrain from applying tariffs on these products.”
Besides video game consoles and games, smartphones could see a major increase in price as well.
“The video game industry is a national leader in job creation, trade, innovation, audience engagement, consumer protection and creative expression,” an Entertainment Software Association spokesperson said, according to Cnet. “Importantly, our industry also boasts a trade surplus for the American economy. Tariffs will erode innovation, decrease job opportunities for American workers and increase prices for consumers.”
The deadline for any formal rebuttal was on June 24, with the Trump administration giving no signals in terms of what their next move is.