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DJI raises drone prices by 15% because of Trump’s trade war tariffs

China-based drone maker DJI is passing on the cost of President Donald Trump’s latest round of tariffs on imported Chinese goods to American buyers. Following the new 15% tariff increase — which came into effect at the start of September, DJI has made several alterations to its online catalog and ratcheted up prices of a handful of its drones.

Earlier this month, most products on DJI’s online store were mysteriously either taken down or went out of stock. Some of these returned on Tuesday — with a nearly 15% price bump, DroneDJ reported.

The DJI Mavic Air, which at the time of writing was only available in the Arctic White color option, now costs $919 instead of $799. Similarly, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro — which we crowned as the best drone to buy in 2019 — will set you back by $1,729, up from $1,499.

Switching to another country on DJI’s online store suggests the cost surge hasn’t affected its lineup elsewhere. In Canada, for instance, the Mavic 2 Pro is still priced at the same pre-tariff rate of $1,499.

“Due to the recent increase in tariffs, DJI has updated pricing for its products in the United States. We take many factors into account when recommending retail prices in different countries around the world, including tariff applications, tax rates, and currency exchange fluctuations,” a DJI spokesperson told The Verge. We reached out to DJI for additional details on the price increases and will update this story if we hear back.

It’s worth noting that these price variations haven’t made their way to third-party retailers like Best Buy and Amazon yet. Therefore, if you’ve been meaning to buy a DJI drone, it’s best to not wait anymore.

In addition, the majority of DJI products are still unavailable on the company’s own web store. However, listings of a few of them have been updated to reflect the 15% price increase. It remains unclear when these products will return and at what prices.

Apart from sustaining higher import costs, DJI — which is currently the world’s largest commercial drone maker — has also been banned from bidding for a U.S. military contract and accused of sharing data with the Chinese government. Plus, the Trump administration has concerns that DJI could be a national security threat. DJI dismissed the allegations and said they are “obviously false” and “unsubstantiated speculation.”

The tariff hike that went live on Sunday is the first of a two-part approach the U.S. government has planned for the year and doesn’t affect most consumer electronics. The second batch, which is scheduled to go live on December 15th, will put an additional 15% tariff on virtually everything that comes to the United States from China, including laptops and smartphones.

Shubham Agarwal
Shubham Agarwal is a freelance technology journalist from Ahmedabad, India. His work has previously appeared in Firstpost…
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