PC component manufacturers expect “significant” price increases due to US trade tariffs

US/China trade tariffs

Wide-ranging tariffs imposed on Chinese imports by the US government went into effect on September 24, and PC component manufacturers have now spoken up on how these tariffs will affect their prices going forward. EVGA, NZXT, SilverStone, and Alphacool are all planning on implementing price increases – some potentially up to 25% to match tariffs.

The tariffs implemented by the US government went into effect exactly one week ago, covering a huge range of product imported from China. The list covers 5,745 different products, including quite a few PC components gamers hold dear. That includes graphics cards, motherboards, SSDs, mice, CPU coolers, power supplies, cases, and even gaming chairs. Thankfully memory, which is already an expensive commodity, is excluded from the tariffs for the time being.

The tariffs are a part of an escalating trade war between the two economic superpowers, and the US and China are meeting each other blow-for-blow on wide-ranging trade tariffs. The US tariffs that recently went into effect are starting out at just 10%, although will increase to a total 25% starting next January unless the two countries come to an agreement.

Unfortunately, that means that customers will have those price increases passed onto them to varying degree based on how much of the product needs to ship over from China, the world’s manufacturing powerhouse. Gigabyte has already warned its partners to hunker down for the tariffs, but others have now spoken about similar fears for consumer pricing as tariffs enter the market.

“The latest round of proposed tariffs on imports from China will very likely impact NZXT’s products,” an NZXT representative says to Gamers Nexus. “If we cannot obtain a waiver or legally reclassify our goods, we will be forced to increase our suggested retail prices to cover whatever tariff level is finally set. The timing for any increase would be directly tied to when the tariffed goods clear U.S. customs and move into our retail channels. The price increases would affect all of our North American customers, including Canada.”

Alphacool indicated it wasn’t likely as affected as others by the tariffs as the company is based outside of the US. However, the tariffs are “not ideal” for its expansion plans into the US market. SilverStone similarly outline price increases, although nothing confirmed as of yet, but plans on increasing prices in line with tariffs. The company has outlined that it “will not take advantage of the circumstances to increase our profit margin”.

It’s a similar story over at EVGA. The company most well-known for PSUs and graphics cards is expecting a significant impact once the 25% tariff is put in place. EVGA CEO, Andrew Han, outlined worries that EVGA does not have the capacity to manufacture its entire product lineup outside of China “in the near term”, and therefore the impact from the tariffs will be “significant”.

The tech itself has never been better, but with graphics card shortages, 14nm manufacturing issues for Intel, AMD motherboard shortages in China, and memory prices up in the clouds, 2018 has been a rocky year for PC gamers so far. With tariffs expected to increase to 25% early next year, 2019 isn’t going to get off to a great start either unless the US and China can reach an accord.