# 35% Trump Tax = a $27 Valk #### Dom ##### Member With Trump promising to impose a 35% tax on all imports to the US, that means Chinese cubes will cost more, too. The Valk at the Cubicle is$20. And 35% of that is $7. That means the Cubicle would have to raise the price to$27.

Would you be willing to pay an extra 35% on your cubes?

What are we going to do? Buy all the cubes we can right now? Or will we see Rubik's start manufacturing better speed cubes? What will cube companies like TheCubicle.us or SpeedCubeshop.com do? Will their business hurt?

#### JustinTimeCuber

##### Member
Not to get too political here, but what's the point of doing it like that? It's not like MoFangGe/QiYi and MoYu outsourced any jobs, because they weren't from the US to begin with. If he actually thinks that our trade policies are bad right now (which they are) then I'd completely agree, but you need an in-depth policy that has the right incentives. (Side note: I'm completely in favor of the withdrawal from TPP, that was good)

#### Dash Lambda

##### Member
Could you provide a source for that? I'm having difficulty finding that number.

Either way, if that's true, then... Well, I haven't been fond of Trump ever since I first heard he was running for president, but this would be the first thing he did that directly affects my everyday life. And it's completely unnecessary.
So yeah, I'd still buy cubes, because what else am I supposed to do? ... But that would make some of the prices much harder to justify. I just bought a Gans Air UM, got free shipping and everything so the cost was $47.37. This would make that$64. That's like buying an entire additional cube.

Dom

#### JustinTimeCuber

##### Member
but imagine the demographic breakdown for the 2020 election:

NATIONAL:
Trump 48%
Sanwarbookarrisworthander: 51%

GENDER-MALE:
Trump 52%
Sanwarbookarrisworthander: 47%

GENDER-FEMALE:
Trump 44%
Sanwarbookarrisworthander: 55%

.
.
.

CUBERS:
Trump 2%
Sanwarbookarrisworthander 96%

#### mDiPalma

##### Member
With Trump promising to impose a 35% tax on all imports to the US, that means Chinese cubes will cost more, too.
Economic misunderstandings of previous posters in this thread aside, because there are no American-made cube companies that can inflate their prices to reap undeserved rewards of increased expenses for cube stores which import Asian products, any tariff would certainly make North American cube manufacturing a lucrative enterprise with significant potential profits.

I think a lot of American cubers would definitely prefer to buy an American-made cube over an imported product, as long as the quality was on-par and the price was close.

Additionally, because an American cube manufacturer could directly sell to cubers, without the need for an American-based English-speaking middleman, prices for cubes in a market with a significant tariff might actually decrease prices for cubes. (Think about how much cube stores mark up their prices relative to the wholesale price you can get from China.)

Last edited:

#### AlexMaass

##### Member
you guys don't release that cubes stores buy cubes from China and resell them in the United States for a profit
for example the Valk could cost the cubicle 15 dollars (including shipping costs from China)
the tariff would only affect a portion of the price, but it still will have an effect

if this happens and affects cube prices:
ideas: go to China and fly back/smuggle tons of cubes
or we could just use Canada as a proxy possibly xD

#### Dash Lambda

##### Member
I think a lot of American cubers would definitely prefer to buy an American-made cube over an imported product, as long as the quality was on-par and the price was close.
I cannot for the life of me fully understand the "made in America" thing. If anything, I actually think it's good to have products made in various countries, for reasons ranging from increased efficiency from specialization to the Dell theory.
Import taxes and whatnot have always looked, to me at least, less pro-economy and more xenophobic.

That being said, my background with this stuff is far from rigorous, so even I don't treat my opinion as fact.

Dom

#### JustinTimeCuber

##### Member
I cannot for the life of me fully understand the "made in America" thing. If anything, I actually think it's good to have products made in various countries, for reasons ranging from increased efficiency from specialization to the Dell theory.
Import taxes and whatnot have always looked, to me at least, less pro-economy and more xenophobic.

That being said, my background with this stuff is far from rigorous, so even I don't treat my opinion as fact.
For some people it might be because of xenophobia but when it comes to libtards like me it's because we don't like being in a trade deal with a country (Malaysia) that "tolerates slavery".

#### mDiPalma

##### Member
I cannot for the life of me fully understand the "made in America" thing.
There are many reasons why "Made in America" makes sense:
• First, it reduces our dependency on other countries. Obviously, for markets like oil the value of this is obvious. But this also applies to cubes. If Trump bans commerce with China, for example, an American cube manufacturer would meet the demand (along with Vcubes, I guess).
• Second, it would require less energy. The amount of work done to transfer a product across the entire Pacific Ocean cannot be ignored.
• Third, it employs working Americans and allows people that can, in turn buy things FROM YOU, to have a steady source of income, which makes the American market more robust.
• Fourth, American businesses and manufacturing must abide by environmental policies and regulations - many of which Asian manufactures forgo.
• Fifth, human rights violations are rampant in countries from which Americans import many things - clothes, plastic products, etc.
Apart from these actual reasons to avoid foreign imports, many people have personal reasons, such as the desire to minimize waste (purchase only used products), patriotism, or even, as you mentioned, xenophobia.

For the past 3-4 years, I have only spent *my own* money on American-made/assembled products, which can often cost 5x as much (the 3 cubes I've gotten over the past 4 years were all gifts). This is because I believe that domestic products are simply superior in quality, and I have many pieces of anecdotal evidence to support that claim.

#### Loiloiloi

##### Member
I've read that it's 35 percent for mexican imports, and 45 percent for chinese. Which is even more significant.

Dom

##### Member
There are many reasons why "Made in America" makes sense:
• First, it reduces our dependency on other countries. Obviously, for markets like oil the value of this is obvious. But this also applies to cubes. If Trump bans commerce with China, for example, an American cube manufacturer would meet the demand (along with Vcubes, I guess).
• This is not necessarily a good thing. It can easily promote monopolies in more specialised markets and can easily lead to lower quality products due to the price advantage they have over the competition (a similar thing happened with the rubik's company and they didn't even have a price advantage). In fact, given how specialised cubing is and the younger age demographic of the vast majority, it is more likely that a new company would not form or at least take a lot longer to form. Isolationism is also not necessarily a good policy (see "USSR" or "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea"). Dependence on others is also not a bad thing as it can reduce the possibility of war (due to the depressing fact that we are less likely to kill other people if they are more useful to us alive than dead. It can also be argued that this international interdependence is partially to thank for the current period of relative peace since the Cold War)
• Second, it would require less energy. The amount of work done to transfer a product across the entire Pacific Ocean cannot be ignored.
• This is true if purely from an environmental standpoint so I won't dispute the legitimacy of the fact (however, there are people who work in shipping).
• Third, it employs working Americans and allows people that can, in turn buy things FROM YOU, to have a steady source of income, which makes the American market more robust.
• This has shown to not be the case many times. Just because a company can employ more people domestically does not mean they will and could simply lead to companies downsizing their operations or (increasingly more frequently) try to automate as many of the processes as possible. They may also just try to put up prices to recoup losses which can lead to higher inflation and hence leave the wealth of the average citizen lower than before even if monetarily they seem better off. They could also make a lower quality product if they have such a price advantage and a much lower incentive to do R&D (See Rubik's again).
[*]Fourth, American businesses and manufacturing must abide by environmental policies and regulations - many of which Asian manufactures forgo.
It depends on what countries you're talking about. There are many loophole in the US and you could be quite surprised at the things which could potentially be labelled as "made in America" that wouldn't be considered as such by many people who buy such products.
[*]Fifth, human rights violations are rampant in countries from which Americans import many things - clothes, plastic products, etc.
This is probably one of the points I agree with. However, conditions for many Americans are hardly utopian either compared to quote a few other countries (though I accept that they are definitely better than many common exporters in the industry you mentioned).
Apart from these actual reasons to avoid foreign imports, many people have personal reasons, such as the desire to minimize waste (purchase only used products), patriotism, or even, as you mentioned, xenophobia.
If you want to minimise waste by only getting used products, why do they have to "made in America"? Patriotism is not always a good thing either. See "Cold War" (which I think we might be heading towards again).
For the past 3-4 years, I have only spent *my own* money on American-made/assembled products, which can often cost 5x as much (the 3 cubes I've gotten over the past 4 years were all gifts). This is because I believe that domestic products are simply superior in quality, and I have many pieces of anecdotal evidence to support that claim.
I can respect why you did that due to the beliefs you hold and acknowledge it as a good deed. However, anecdotal evidence is not very reliable no matter the quantity due to confirmation bias and the echo chamber effect. Also, assembly in the country can often be just as bad due to the possibility of where the pieces can from (which could be all over the world which is bad for the environment) and it can be even harder to know the conditions of the people who made it.
This is not to say that there is no point buying locally or domestically at all. I just feel like these points needed a counterargument to go with them and show that these reasons are not all as firm as many proponents think they are or would like them to be.

Dom

#### SenorJuan

##### Member
Quote:"... it would require less energy. The amount of work done to transfer a product across the entire Pacific Ocean cannot be ignored."
On a per-cube basis, it's a very low amount of energy, which is why it's viable to import low value good from half-way round the world. The modern containerised international freight system is pretty impressive. I'm sure if cubes were still packed into wooden cases and hand loaded by longshore-men onto small ships, your cubes would be twice the price.

Dom

#### Dash Lambda

##### Member
For the past 3-4 years, I have only spent *my own* money on American-made/assembled products, which can often cost 5x as much (the 3 cubes I've gotten over the past 4 years were all gifts). This is because I believe that domestic products are simply superior in quality, and I have many pieces of anecdotal evidence to support that claim.
While I don't entirely agree with many of the points you made, they're fair points.
But American-made stuff being higher quality? Dude, two words: German tools.

Dom

#### newtonbase

American manufacturers will be making more money from American customers. Let's hope that's enough to sustain them. The scrapping of the TPP will have China rubbing its hands together with glee at the market that has just opened up. Does Trump think that America is going to increase exports because you can't raise import tax like that and expect other countries not to do the same.

As for concerns about the environmental policies of China etc I think you'll find the US going down the same path very soon as climate change is a myth right?

#### mDiPalma

##### Member
This is not necessarily a good thing. It can easily promote monopolies in more specialised markets and can easily lead to lower quality products due to the price advantage they have over the competition
True, which is why, for the cubing example, I specified that there are currently no American cube manufacturers, so that all entrants to the market would be starting more or less from scratch.

This has shown to not be the case many times. Just because a company can employ more people domestically does not mean they will and could simply lead to companies downsizing their operations or (increasingly more frequently) try to automate as many of the processes as possible. They may also just try to put up prices to recoup losses which can lead to higher inflation and hence leave the wealth of the average citizen lower than before even if monetarily they seem better off. They could also make a lower quality product if they have such a price advantage and a much lower incentive to do R&D (See Rubik's again).
True, but for the cubing example, these new businesses would be created, which means that no Americans will lose their jobs etc. And if we had multiple competitors (but I'm uncertain of the IP laws regarding this endeavor in the first place), I think the R&D issue will sort itself out (look at The Cubicle right now).

It depends on what countries you're talking about. There are many loophole in the US and you could be quite surprised at the things which could potentially be labelled as "made in America" that wouldn't be considered as such by many people who buy such products.
I agree.

If you want to minimise waste by only getting used products, why do they have to "made in America"? Patriotism is not always a good thing either. See "Cold War" (which I think we might be heading towards again).
Yeah, these are just potential personal reasons somebody might have for not buying an new import product.

anecdotal evidence is not very reliable no matter the quantity due to confirmation bias and the echo chamber effect. Also, assembly in the country can often be just as bad due to the possibility of where the pieces can from (which could be all over the world which is bad for the environment) and it can be even harder to know the conditions of the people who made it.
This is the only thing you wrote that I partially disagree with, as long as you try your best to minimize the confirmation bias (keep a tally of how long things last, quantitatively how well they work, etc.). If you can assure that, I believe anecdotal evidence actually more usefully/accurately captures personal usage of products than statistics or "facts".

In other words, the way YOU use a product is different from the way that everyone else does. So for example, if you are bicyclist, and you notice that every time you install Brand A shocks, they wear out really fast because of the way you hop curbs or go down stairs, but when you installed Brand B shocks, which seem to have a much longer fatigue life but aren't as comfortable, they last longer. That is more useful information to you (and your friends who have similar biking habits) than whatever statistics that these companies put out on their website about "high speed damping" or "spring weight" or "sag". The thing about anecdotal evidence is that it allows you to come to these conclusions about which product to buy WITHOUT any quantitative comparison.

With regards to cubing - everyone has their own personal cubing styles. I know that whenever most people do a solve on my Alpha V, they appear visibly disgusted (lol). They don't like the clicky feel. They hate the turning accuracy required. And they are disappointed that it can only cut ~35 degrees. However, there was one guy who actually offered me money for my modded AV, because he was used to using a tight Moyu LiYing (?) which I believe has a very similar size and feel. The inverse would also be true. The anecdotal evidence from a friend that would have told me the Moyu LiYing felt like the AV would have been more useful information to me than the number of stars on the review on The Cubicle.

Or take algorithms for example. Many people learn certain PLL cases (J perm/N perm) that they feel are faster than more efficient cases. Or people learn extremely long Y-perms because they are a combination of OLLs they already know. In all of these cases, there are more important things than the statistical evidence.

Why do people watch unboxing videos? Why don't they just read the technical specifications from the manufacturer? Why do reviewers do first turns instead of taking a spring-scale and measuring the force to turn each layer? Why do Youcubers compare cube sizes and weights to the Dayan Zhanchi instead of reading values off calipers or a scale?

#### Dom

##### Member
For me, I've noticed that most Chinese-made products I buy in the store can break very easily. They have an American name, American company, but the product says "made in China." But conversely, Chinese cubes are a MODERN MARVEL! I've figured out its because those cubes are ENGINEERED by the Chinese. The crappy American things are designed here, made over there, but people always think it's because it is made in China.

German cars, (Italian) Venetian glass, Japanese electronics, Chinese cubes

Certain things are just better when they're designed in other countries.

#### vm70

##### Member
For me, I've noticed that most Chinese-made products I buy in the store can break very easily. They have an American name, American company, but the product says "made in China." But conversely, Chinese cubes are a MODERN MARVEL! I've figured out its because those cubes are ENGINEERED by the Chinese. The crappy American things are designed here, made over there, but people always think it's because it is made in China.
China has a tendency to avoid patenting laws, as shown with Oskar van Deventer's problem with his 5x5 gear cube. This, however, partially benefits us because of companies like Shengshou, MoYu, etc. that modify the original designs from V-Cube. China-based companies also copy other designs from other China-based companies (Cyclone Boys 3x3's are mainly based off MoYu WeiLong designs, according to people like JRCuber & SpeedCubeReview). I'm pretty sure that you can find V-Cube's lawsuit somewhere on the internet. Here's the patent for V-Cube.

It would be amazing to see Rubik's, Mefferts, & V-Cube build decent speed cubes that are affordable and not gripe about how their designs are being stolen. Innovation benefits from competition, and China has YJ/MoYu, QiYi MoFangGe, and YuXin to step up to. If they don't, then I hope that the China companies have US divisions or something to sell to US customers.

If Donald Trump does impose this tariff, I hope that people will protest against it. There must be some alternative to get high-quality and affordable speedcubes in the United States.

EDIT: I am not good at politics; this is my opinion, partially supported by facts. If I get something wrong or offend you, please don't yell at me.

Last edited:
Dom

#### newtonbase

It would be amazing to see Rubik's, Mefferts, & V-Cube build decent speed cubes that are affordable and not gripe about how their designs are being stolen.
I spoke to a lady from Seven Towns who said that there will never be a very good Rubik's speed cube as they won't risk producing a cube that can pop.

#### pipkiksass

##### Member
I spoke to a lady from Seven Towns who said that there will never be a very good Rubik's speed cube as they won't risk producing a cube that can pop.
I once popped a Rubik's original. Do I win something???

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

#### Ingo

##### Member
I spoke to a lady from Seven Towns who said that there will never be a very good Rubik's speed cube as they won't risk producing a cube that can pop.
Of course Seven Towns will never produce a good Rubik's speed cube.
Hopefully GAN will take care of that in the future.

Dom