Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump promised that, if elected, he would strive to strengthen American businesses and revive American manufacturing. To accomplish that goal, Trump planned to impose large tariffs on foreign-made goods, encouraging companies to manufacture their products in the United States. The Entertainment Software Association, the group that represents the video game industry to the United States government, recently pointed out that these tariffs could have a horrible effect on gaming by driving up prices of most video games and consoles.
Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, the three biggest companies in gaming, all manufacture their consoles in China, meaning that a tariff like the one proposed by Trump would likely impact them drastically. On top of that, all companies who develop their games outside of the United States, including Nintendo, Sony, Konami, Ubisoft, and countless others, would be affected as well. Although it’s unclear whether such a tariff will be imposed or how much it would affect the price of video games, the ESA has begun to take precautions, stating that it was preparing a deal to present to the US government.
The ESA released this statement, which criticized the Trump administration’s stance on foreign-made products, as well as its harsh immigration policy:
“The Entertainment Software Association urges the White House to exercise caution with regard to vital immigration and foreign worker programs. As a leading force in technology and exporter of entertainment, the U.S. video game industry thrives on the contributions of innovators and storytellers from around the world.
“While recognizing that enhancing national security and protecting our country’s citizens are critical goals, our companies rely on the skilled talent of U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, and immigrants alike. Our nation’s actions and words should support their participation in the American economy.” — The Entertainment Software Association
Last year, several sources estimated that the Trump administration would impose a tax as high as ten percent on all imports to the United States. This would undoubtedly raise the price of video games and consoles and would probably make it harder to purchase Japanese and European video games in America.
Recently, however, Donald Trump has been backing off some of the claims he made during his campaign, and it seems like the White House might no longer be considering a blanket tax like the one feared by the ESA, instead saying that the tax is “just an option” for bolstering American manufacturing. Everything’s still up in the air, though, and the Trump administration has not provided an official statement regarding the possibility of an import tax or its effect on the entertainment industry as a whole. For the time being at least, it seems that Trump’s original proposal will not be passing, which is great news for American gamers.
What do you guys think? Do you still believe that the tariff is a serious possibility, and do you think it would have a major impact on the foreign gaming industry? If you support the idea of such a tariff, do you think that its potential benefits on American manufacturing could outweigh any effect it could have on video games and other forms of entertainment? Sound off in the comments below!