The Trump administration is including board games, dice, and toys in a proposed list of tariffs related to the United States' ongoing trade conflict with China. On Friday, the Trump administration announced a new list of categories that could be subject to a 25% tariff that could have wide-ranging impacts on a number of geek-related industries, including board games, dice, comics and graphic novels, and toys. Companies that use Chinese manufacturers could see their costs rise by 25% if the tariffs were to go into effect. While some major comics publishers use Canadian printers and wouldn't be majorly affected by the tariffs, the board game industry could be substantially impacted as many board game companies use Chinese manufacturers to publish resin miniatures and mass produce other parts for games.
The move could be significantly harmful to some Kickstarter-funded board games, especially those that successfully funded but are months away from publication. While tariffs typically resort in the increased costs being passed along to the consumer, that doesn't really work if you pre-sold your product as part of a crowdfunding campaign. While some Kickstarter campaigns charge for shipping via a "Pledge Manager" website, it'll be interesting to see if any campaigns attempt to pass off tariff costs onto their backers after the fact.
The tariffs are part of an ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China, as the United States is attempting to negotiate an opening of the Chinese market and the end of perceived unfair practices by Chinese companies. Although there was hope that a trade deal would be reached last week, those talks broke down, which led to both countries proposing new tariffs on a variety of goods.
Public hearings about the tariffs will begin in June, and companies and individuals can request that general products or specific exemptions be given at that time. If the US moves forward with the tariffs, they could go into effect any time after June 24th.
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