Last week, a range of products that had been exempted from tariffs—thanks to the ongoing US v China trade war—lost that status, and so in 2021 will be more expensive. Among those products are graphics cards and motherboards.
As the New York Times reported last week, “Mr. Trump began placing tariffs on more than $360 billion of Chinese goods in 2018, prompting thousands of companies to ask the administration for temporary waivers excluding them from the levies.”
Those waivers are now done, and PC hardware companies are among those who have already raised their prices to accommodate the tariffs. While this will affect most companies in this part of the industry, since so many components and products are sourced from China, ASUS are the only ones to come out so far and issue a statement explaining the hikes, saying:
Update regarding MSRP pricing for ASUS components in 2021. This update applies to graphics cards and motherboards* We have an announcement in regards to MSRP price changes that are effective in early 2021 for our award-winning series of graphic cards and motherboards. Our new MSRP reflects increases in cost for components. operating costs, and logistical activities plus a continuation of import tariffs. We worked closely with our supply and logistic partners to minimize price increases. ASUS greatly appreciates your continued business and support as we navigate through this time of unprecedented market change. *additional models may see an increase as we moved further into Q1.
So what kind of price increases are we looking at? People who pay a lot closer attention to this stuff than I do have already found examples of cards getting more expensive, like ASUS’ RTX 3090 going from $1799 to $1979. The size of the tariffs themselves are “either an additional 7.5 percent or 25 percent tariff, depending on their product”, but as you can see from that RTX 3090 price, companies aren’t passing the entire cost onto consumers, they’ll be looking to cut corners/absorb part of the hit themselves.
PC hardware costs were already getting out of hand thanks to bitcoin miners, supply shortages and scalpers. Having something else come along to make things even more expensive sucks!