And now for something completely different: Tariffs and Makers

For those of us who like to play around or build things with electronics, the tariffs the US government is about to put into place on Chinese goods will have a  direct effect.This will be bad for the Maker movement. Components like LEDs, resistors, capacitors, and PCBs will have an additional 25% tariff added. Yikes!

Tariffs on many finished consumer goods, such as cell phones, will remain unchanged. Hackaday writes: “this hurts small companies buying components. Startups buying subassemblies from China will be hit as well. Educators buying parts kits for their classes also face the tax hike. Who won’t be impacted? Companies building finished goods. If the last screw of your device is installed in China, there is no tax. If it is installed in the USA, then you’ll pay 25% more on your Bill of Materials (BOM). This incentivizes moving assembly offshore.”

The tariffs also apply to chips designed in the US by American companies and built for those companies by Chinese manufacturers. (see Chip Makers: We’ll End Up Paying Tariffs on Our Own Goods)

Moog, the synthesizer company, is among those affected, and they are stating that their entire business is at risk. (Moog Asks Customers to Protest Trump Tariffs)

You can read more about this on Andrew “bunnie” Huang’s blog, Bunnie’s Blog. From his blog:

The Adafruit MetroX Classic Kit is representative of a typical electronics education kit. Items marked with an “X” in the above image are potentially impacted by the new USTR tariffs.