In 2020 there was a shortage of Nvidia Corp (NASDAQ:NVDA) and AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) graphic cards and high-end gaming PC developers that didn’t buy them then could find it more difficult this year because they will cost more. This is because of the 25% Trump tariffs on Chinese imports which will increase the cost of processors, GPUs, and Motherboards.
Tax on $200 billion Chinese imports to drive up costs of gaming PC components
In November Tom’s Hardware warned about building high-end gaming PCs at the time a sentiment echoed by ExtremeTech last month. It now seems that building a new gaming PC will be expensive after the Trump administration imposed a 25% tax on GPUs coming from China. One PC component manufacturer has indicated that it will pass part of the cost along to consumers. The tax was to take effect in September 2019 but there were some exemptions made for accelerator modules and GPUs. However, these exemptions expired at the end of last year and the Trump administration didn’t give extensions. Therefore in 2021 GPUs will carry a 25% tariff which will make them expensive for gamers.
PC components were swept up in the US/China trade war but companies such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) cozied to the president to avoid some of the import taxes on PC components by manufacturing its Macs in the US. Other GPU buyers and PC gamers equally dodged the bullet and avoided paying high prices for graphic cards. Interestingly as per the Harmonized Tariff Schedule in the US, PC components are normally imported tax-free.
“List 3” tariffs to make GPUs expensive
However, as per the “list 3” tariffs designed to tax $200 billion of Chinese imports, motherboard and GPU vendors will have to find an additional 25% for the tariffs. For instance, Nvidia’s $699 GeForce RTX 3080 will increase to $874 before the application of any sales taxes. And since in some states sales taxes can go up to 10% this could add $70 to the costs and drive the GPU price to a total of $944.