With the world’s attention focused on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, high oil prices, inflation, and component shortages, it’s easy to forget that there was a war of another sort being fought between the US and China.
While trade tensions have cooled since the Biden administration took over, tariffs remain in place on many imported Chinese goods. Soon there will be a few less. The US Government reinstated over 350 products to a list of exclusions to American import tariffs that were put in place beginning in 2018.
The products affected include a wide variety of machinery, electronic components and consumer goods, ranging from television screen parts to vacuum cleaners. Most importantly for PC gamers, the list includes: 'Printed circuit assemblies for rendering images onto computer screens.'
At a time when inflation is running at multi-decade highs, some pricing going in the other direction will be welcome. Graphics card prices continue to fall, and if these tariffs are removed, many other product categories should follow.
If we assume that cheaper pricing will be passed on in full to the consumer (wishful thinking), it will deliver a little bit of relief in the hip pocket. Cheaper components will have a flow on effect for many kinds of consumer tech, from TVs and white goods to notebooks and phones.
It will take some time for the effects of lower tariffs to manifest in the market. With the surging cost of oil and higher shipping costs, it's important not to expect too much though. If bargains do appear, we’ll be all over them as we always are.