In brief: The US under President Trump has been locked in a rough trade war with China for a couple of years now, and it doesn't seem like things are going to cool down anytime soon. Indeed, the situation only seems to be getting more heated as talks between the two global superpowers continue. Trump announced on Twitter today that, beginning on September 1, the US will institute a 10 percent tariff on Chinese imports.
This tariff is much smaller than many tech companies previously feared -- further 25 percent tariffs were expected -- but this change will still likely have a significant impact on the bottom line of several US-based companies; many of which outsource a large portion of the production and manufacturing aspects of their business to China. Notebook makers, in particular, have already begun to stockpile product in anticipation of these tariffs.
So, why does this matter to you, the consumer? Well, it's very unlikely that tech companies (or companies in general) will be willing to simply eat the extra expenses these tariffs present. Customers can certainly expect any additional costs to be passed on to them in the form of higher price tags on their favorite devices or products.
Our representatives have just returned from China where they had constructive talks having to do with a future Trade Deal. We thought we had a deal with China three months ago, but sadly, China decided to re-negotiate the deal prior to signing. More recently, China agreed to...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2019
Sony has already promised higher PlayStation 4 prices for users if China and the US don't resolve this trade war soon, and other companies (including competing console makers) will undoubtedly follow suit.
Of course, it's not our place to say whether or not the trade war will be good or bad in the long run -- consumers and government officials must make that decision for themselves. However, whether you're pro-tariff or the opposite, it'll certainly be interesting to see how this trade war concludes in the coming months or years.