Canadian Tariffs Take Aim at 'Magic: The Gathering' and 'Pokemon' Cards

Trade disputes between the United States and Canada have dragged in an unlikely victim: collectible trading card game players.

The CBC reports that Magic: The Gathering cards and Pokemon Trading Card Game products are among the products being hit with a 10% tariff in Canada in response to the United States' tariff on Canadian steel and aluminum. The 10% tariff was issued to all "playing card" products shipped across the US/Canada border, which seems to include collectible card games.

While the Canadian government declined to provide specific explanations as to why they chose certain products to target, the tariff was likely designed to hit The United States Playing Card Company, which is headquartered in Kentucky and produces the popular Bicycle and Bee playing cards. Kentucky is the home state of US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of President Donald Trump's key allies in Congress.

However, the ban has also taken a toll on game stores. The CBC interviewed Dave Tellier, the owner of Ottawa's Wizard's Tower, who stockpiled the newest Magic card product before the tariffs took effect on July 1st. "Once that runs out, the 10 per cent — we will see the increase immediately," Tellier said of the tariffs. The new tariffs will also impact the cost of attending many Magic or Pokemon events, in which players buy cards to make competitive decks. Most trading card game release regular updates and expansions, which will also be impacted by the tariffs.

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While Canadian casinos and stores can simply switch playing card suppliers to support Canadian card manufacturers, trading card stores don't have that luxury. After all, there's no Canadian equivalent to Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon, so hobby stores just have to suck up the tariff and increase prices.

Other items hit with Canadian tariffs include coffee, mattresses, and toilet paper, along with various steel and aluminum products.