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You can thank Trump for paying more for GPUs

US President Donald Trump

2020 has already been a terrible year, including for new PC gamers looking to build their new systems. The year of 2021 was supposed to be better, but that’s not looking to be the case. It turns out that politics has gotten in the way, instead of scalpers and the like, as there are tariffs involved this time. Better be prepared for GPU MSRP to skyrocket. Let’s talk about why.

Tariffs are a big part of global economies of scale and global trade. The tax on imports has a bunch of possible problems, especially for consumers. They can be used to encourage certain domestic industries, but it doesn’t always work like that. The idea is that corporations often get hit with tariffs, which they then pass on to the consumers. All it really accomplishes is that products that are in-demand don’t flow into a tariffed market.

Supply shortages have already made 2020 and beyond a huge problem, as GPU production is lagging behind a fair bit due to demand and memory supply problems. Now we’re just getting a new turd thrown onto the pile.

Now we have to deal with increased pricing thanks to misguided trade policy. Departing US President Donald Trump placed major tariffs on Chinese-manufactured goods throughout his term in office, all in a flawed attempt to force manufacturing jobs to return to US soil. The ramifications of this policy have now borne fruit for PC hardware manufacturers, and users are paying the price.

ASUS, Gigabyte, PNY, Zotac and more have already all raised MSRP on various products.

As the New York Times reported last week, “Mr. Trump began placing tariffs on more than $360 billion of Chinese goods in 2018, prompting thousands of companies to ask the administration for temporary waivers excluding them from the levies.”

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The change in tariffs could be bypassed by a company applying for a waiver for products produced in China. That loophole is now closing in 2021. Users all over the internet are not happy. For example, ASUS has raised prices on the 6000 series GPUs from AMD.

The TUF 6800 is priced at $810, with the XT variant going for $970. Those cards retailed for $680 and $810 respectively, prior to the hike.  And that’s all just one example. And it’s not just GPUs that seem to be impacted. Some users are reporting rising MSRP on power supplies and other components as well. This is a true nightmare for anyone trying to wait until prices normalize to build a new gaming PC.

And here’s how major manufacturer and AIB partner ASUS responded to this development:

Update regarding MSRP pricing for ASUS components in 2021. This update applies to graphics cards and motherboards* We have an announcement in regards to MSRP price changes that are effective in early 2021 for our award-winning series of graphic cards and motherboards. Our new MSRP reflects increases in cost for components. operating costs, and logistical activities plus a continuation of import tariffs. We worked closely with our supply and logistic partners to minimize price increases. ASUS greatly appreciates your continued business and support as we navigate through this time of unprecedented market change. *additional models may see an increase as we moved further into Q1.

In short, you’re getting screwed on pricing if you live in the US and these tariffs are maintained.

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