The Office of the United States Trade Representative has reinstated 352 products into its exclusion list, which governs the Chinese imports subject to increased, punitive tariffs as part of the US-China trade war. The revised listing now once again excludes Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) from the added duties. PCBs are used to manufacture motherboards, GPUs, and a range of other electronic components.
The development means PCBs coming from China are now free from the 7.5%-25% additional import duties levied at them, which went into effect in January 2021 when the provisions excluding these products expired. This could, in theory, translate into lower prices for some of the best motherboards and graphics cards. Of course, that's the best case scenario that assumes companies will be passing these savings on to consumers.
But that is more likely to happen with motherboards than graphics cards. Virtually all semiconductor products are faced with added materials costs from the (still normalizing) supply shock that followed the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the current Russian invasion of Ukraine. While this is true for motherboards as well, demand for these products didn't explode nearly as much as graphics cards, which were also targeted by scalpers and cryptocurrency miners. Ultimately, the reduction in import taxes could mean cheaper motherboards - or at the very least, help offset the increased materials costs.
Graphics cards are, however, another beast. Even as GPU prices keep steadily falling towards MSRP, that particular market was devastated by the demand shock and has been that way ever since the introduction of Nvidia's RTX 3000-series. While the falling prices indicate a gradual return to supply and stock normalcy, retailers have built up their supply on products that have been sold at a mark-up already.
This could put a dent into the effect the tariff exemptions could have for end-user pricing, as retailers will be simultaneously trying to move graphics cards they acquired at high and low prices. Retailers are thus likely to increase their margins on more recent, cheaper stocks as a way to compensate for the reduced margins on GPUs they previously bought at a significant mark-up, but can't shift due to crashing consumer demand for graphics cards at inflated prices. The bottom line here, then, is that effects on graphics card pricing are harder to predict - but it's likely that the lower taxes won't translate into a corresponding price action any time soon.