Skip to main content

Nvidia is asking the Biden administration to lower the price of GPUs

Nvidia and other computing companies are calling on the Biden administration to lower the cost of graphics cards. In several comments sent to the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the companies called for an exclusion from the tariffs that could increase graphics card prices by as much as 25%.

In October, the USTR opened comments on the extension of exclusions that came as part of the Trump administration’s tariffs on goods imported from China. In 2020, the Trump administration extended tariffs to semiconductors and printed circuit boards (in this case, graphics cards), fueling the flames of an ongoing trade war with China. These tariffs, at least in part, have been cited as a source of the ongoing GPU shortage.

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang on stage.
Nvidia

Graphics cards were given an exclusion on the tariffs, but it expired at the end of 2020. “We support reinstating the exclusion,” a lawyer representing Nvidia said in its comment. “Efforts to create new capacity in countries that presently do not manufacture such products (such as the U.S. and Vietnam) were unsuccessful and were severely hampered by the fallout from COVID-19.”

HP joined Nvidia with a comment of its own, saying that “HP strongly supports reinstatement of the exclusion.” Graphics card maker Zotac joined in as well, citing how difficult it is to “source for a right manufacturer to produce products in the United States and/or in third countries beside China.”

Get your weekly teardown of the tech behind PC gaming
Check your inbox!

Tariffs are a tax on goods imported from another country, but the country exporting those goods isn’t responsible for paying. The importer — someone in the U.S., in this case — is on the hook for the extra cost, which is usually passed down to consumers. Tariffs are meant to deisincentivize purchasing imported products by making them more expensive than domestic products.

That’s the problem, though: The U.S. doesn’t produce any graphics cards. As Nvidia, Zotac, and HP all point out, the supply chain for graphics cards is almost entirely focused in China and Taiwan. In the case of graphics cards, the tariff doesn’t punish China or Chinese manufacturing. It just makes graphics cards more expensive without a domestic alternative.

It will be several years before the U.S. sees a domestically produced graphics card, if at all. Intel, the current champion of domestic semiconductor manufacturing, is still outsourcing its upcoming Arc Alchemist graphics cards to Taiwan-based chipmaker TSMC. AMD and Nvidia also partner with TSMC for manufacturing, as does Apple.

There’s a good chance that the USTR will extend an exclusion to graphics cards, which should drive down prices. The USTR says that exclusions will be doled out to products based on availability in the U.S., domestic capacity for production, and changes in the supply chain since September 2018. Graphics cards hit all three requirements.

Editors' Recommendations

Jacob Roach
Lead Reporter, PC Hardware
Jacob Roach is the lead reporter for PC hardware at Digital Trends. In addition to covering the latest PC components, from…
Nvidia RTX 50-series graphics cards: news, release date, price, and more
RTX 4070 seen from the side.

Nvidia already makes some of the best graphics cards, but it's also not resting on its laurels. Although the RTX 40-series, which has been bolstered by a refresh, is still very recent, Nvidia is also working on its next-gen GPUs from the RTX 50-series.

The release date of RTX 50-series GPUs is still at least a few months away, but various rumors and leaks give us a better idea of what to expect. Here's everything we know about Nvidia's upcoming generation of graphics cards.
RTX 50-series: pricing and release date

Read more
As a lifelong PC gamer, these are the apps I couldn’t live without
Hollow Knight running on a KTC monitor.

You don't need much software to get your gaming PC running. Grab Steam and some of the publisher-specific launchers, as well as your new GPU drivers, and you're off to the races. There are a ton of apps that make using your gaming PC easier and more feature-rich, however, and I've compiled a list of apps I install on every new build.

I use more than these six apps on my PC, but they are essential for every PC. Some give you additional options for your games, while others allow you to monitor and analyze your performance. Even better, all of the apps below are free to download without strings attached, and most of them are even open source.
Nvidia App/Radeon Software

Read more
New Nvidia update suggests DLSS 4.0 is closer than we thought
A hand holding the RTX 4090 GPU.

Nvidia might be gearing up for DLSS 4.0. A new update for Nvidia's Streamline pipeline includes updated files for DLSS Super Resolution and Frame Generation that bring the version to 3.7.

This is a fairly small update aimed at developers. I haven't had a chance to try out DLSS 3.7, but like previous updates, I assume this includes some small tweaks to performance and image quality. Nvidia commits these updates pretty frequently, usually centered around reducing visual artifacts in games.

Read more