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Brace yourself, graphics card prices look set to soar again

It's not just GPUs, as motherboards and PC cases look set to have their prices inflated with the return of an import tariff on China.

Graphics Card Price set to soar

If you’re planning on building a gaming PC, but have been holding off in hopes of price drops, it may be time to reconsider. An import tariff relief scheme put in place by the US government is set to come to an end. This could result in graphics card prices increasing by 25% if they’re imported from or assembled in China, and the same applies to motherboard and PC case prices.

The Trump administration initially implemented the import tariffs in question, and they could make some of the best graphics cards and other PC games hardware more expensive if they’re reinstated. After a period of feedback, these tariffs look set to return ahead of the next presidential election.

In a report by PC Mag, it has been confirmed that the US Trade Representative recommended to the White House that “tariffs on covered products be maintained,” with the US Trade Representative specifically telling the publication that this includes tariffs covering graphics cards, motherboards, and PC cases, under the codes 8473.30.5100 8473.30.1180. Effectively, it’s recommended that the tariffs return following the recent exemption period, with the 25% import cost being reinstated.

The tariff applies exclusively to Chinese goods, but graphics cards, motherboards, and PC cases were included on an exemption list created in 2022. This was the result of lobbying from tech firms, including Nvidia and Zotac. The initial idea behind the tariff was to encourage companies to move supply chain and assembly duties to locations other than China.

While it’s not yet confirmed that the tariff is definitely returning, the White House has already announced plans to increase the tariffs on selected Chinese manufactured goods including, but not limited to, semiconductors and electric vehicles. More concerning is the fact that these import tariffs could be raised as high as 100% in some cases.

Thankfully, you still have time to buy parts at their current prices. Plenty of online retailers are currently running Memorial Day sales, and we’ve put together a hub showcasing the best tech deals we’ve found so far.