Motherboard And GPU Prices Could Drop After US Lifts Chinese Import Tariffs
Are you tired of waiting for the price of kidneys to go up so you can afford a new GPU? Thanks to a change to tariffs in the US, such risky behavior would likely be a waste of time. We don't condone any dangerous or criminal behaviors to afford computing components, by the way.
Still, it's hard to ignore the skyrocketing prices of motherboards, GPUs, and other PC components over the last couple of years. In the before times, er, before the pandemic, there seemed to be no shortage of advancements and accessibility towards computing components. Unfortunately, once that pesky little virus hit, numerous manufacturing facilities, raw material mines, and processing plants shut down. These problems created a shortage of the necessary components in chip and PCB manufacturing. Tack on shipping problems, scalpers, and even virtual currency miners, the demand far outweighed supply, and prices jumped.
In makes sense that the US government would step in and help the consumer, right? Nope—it enacted tariffs on a huge number of goods imported from China, which, unfortunately for US consumers, is a mass producer of components necessary for end result products throughout the US, including vehicles, televisions, and, of course, PC components. So not only had the price of many goods gone up due to lack of supply and increased demand but also there were increased taxes on the import of goods from China directly related to computing.
For example, printed circuit boards, or PCBs, if you will. A PCB is pretty much required for almost all computing products, the increased tariffs caused even more shipping problems while importers scrambled to cover the increased cost of goods they were importing while still needing to deliver to their customers. In most cases, those increased costs ended up being transferred to their customers as an increase in shipping or sourcing of materials, and down to the end consumer, product pricing went up again.
This means for the last two or so years even if a retailer in the US wanted to sell at manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP), they usually couldn't, or else they'd lose money on the goods they sold. That's just not good business practice, and if you want your local Microcenter, if you're lucky enough to have one, to stay in business, markup is a necessary cost.
As of March 24th, however, "Good Guy" Uncle Sam has re-added some of the exceptions to the tariffs on China. These exceptions include printed circuit boards, wireless apparatus that can transmit data to wireless speakers, printed circuit assemblies to enhance graphics performance of automatic data processing, and automated data processing storage units (other than magnetic disk drive units. These four alone open up a massive possibility in reduction of cost to the end consumer. We might not see positive impacts of this for a few weeks to months to come, but we're hoping we can get our hands on a 3080 Ti for at least MSRP soon. You can read the full list of added exceptions.