Game Consoles Are Included in USTR’s Official Document of Proposed Products for Trump’s Extra 25% Tax

May 25, 2019
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The next chapter in Trump’s trade war against China that’s been going on for over a year may soon affect fans of game consoles, too.

A few days ago, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a document that is essentially a huge list of proposed products in danger of incurring in the additional tax (up to 25%) president Donald Trump wants to impose to goods imported from China. These include video game consoles, controllers, and even coin or token operated arcade machines. We’ve highlighted the relevant products below so you don’t have to read all of the massive document.

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8543.70.87 …….. Electrical machines w/translation/dictionary; flatpanel displays except for heading 8528 (except 8528.51/61);infrared video game controller.

9504.30.00 …….. Coin- or token-operated games for arcade, table or parlor (o/than bowling alley equipment) nesoi and parts and accessories thereof.

9504.50.00 …….. Video game consoles and machines, other than those of heading 9504.30.
9504.90.40 …….. Game machines (o/than coin- or token-operated) and parts and accessories thereof.

8526.92.10 …….. Radio remote control apparatus for video game consoles.

Needless to say, this wouldn’t be good news for US gamers. Next year, likely during the Fall season, Microsoft and Sony will push their next-generation consoles which could be priced between $399 and $499. An additional tax of up to 25% wouldn’t help sales, that’s for sure.

In case you’re wondering, Microsoft should be affected as well even if it is headquartered in the United States as we all know. That’s because the Xbox consoles, except for the original that was made in Guadalajara, Mexico, have been produced in China for two generations now.

Still, it is not the time for despair just yet as this is merely a list of proposed products. The USTR has invited interested parties to share comments on said list and they will have to do so by June 17th in order to be considered.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking public comment and will hold a public hearing regarding this proposed modification.

USTR invites comments from interested persons with respect to the proposed action to be taken in the investigation. To be assured of consideration, you must submit written comments by June 17, 2019. Posthearing rebuttal comments, which should be limited to rebutting or supplementing testimony at the hearing, must be submitted within seven days after the last day of the public hearing.

USTR requests comments with respect to any aspect of the proposed action, including:
• The specific tariff subheadings to be subject to increased duties, including whether the subheadings listed in the Annex should be retained or removed, or whether subheadings not currently on the list should be added.
• The level of the increase, if any, in the rate of duty.
• The appropriate aggregate level of trade to be covered by additional duties.

We’ll keep an eye on the result of these hearings and whether game consoles will be included in the final list of products due to receive this new tax. Stay tuned on Wccftech in the meantime.

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