The Trump administration’s proposed tariffs on Chinese goods could impact a wide variety of businesses, but it may also mean bad news for you if you’re planning on buying a new TV. If they go through, the price you pay for your new 4K TV may be significantly higher, according to Consumer Reports.
TVs are often sold at relatively low margins, so increased costs likely wouldn’t be swallowed by the manufacturer but would instead by passed on to the company’s customers. Just how much prices could go up remains to be seen. TV’s wouldn’t be the only products affected either — all sorts of products from washing machines to refrigerators could see rising prices as well.
Of course, the tariffs are far from a done deal at this point, and even if they do go through, there could be changes until they go into effect. Just how much might be affected remains unclear at this point as well. The goods and services that would be affected by the tariffs are detailed in a confusingly laid-out 58-page document that isn’t exactly light reading. It also details products you’re probably not considering buying anytime soon, like VCRs, CRT TVs, and even black-and-white TVs.
Assuming the tariffs go through unchanged, there are a few strategies that manufacturers could adopt to avoid charging more on new TVs. In addition to China, manufacturers often source parts from Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea, all of which would be unaffected by the rate hike on Chinese parts that the tariffs would bring. They could also shift more manufacturing to Mexico, in which companies including LG, Samsung, TCL, and Hisense already have plants.
There is other good news: Many of the TVs you might have your eye on have already made their way to the U.S., and as such would be unaffected by the tariffs. Those tariffs likely wouldn’t land until late this year, so it might not be until 2019 that we see prices rising as a result. That leaves plenty of time for things to change in the meantime as well.
If this leaves you thinking maybe you won’t wait until upgrading to the latest and greatest, we’re here to help. Take a look at our list of the best TVs you can buy to get a general idea of what you want to buy, and be sure to check our TV buying guide to make sure you go in prepared.