The CBC reports that Magic: The Gathering cards are part of the $12.6 billion in goods from the United States that are now subject to a 10% tariff by Canada. Won’t they think of the Canadian planeswalkers?
The United States has been embroiled in a trade dispute with Canada since May 31st, at which point the US imposed strict tariffs (or import taxes) on Canadian steel and aluminum. Canada responded in kind by imposing the same tariffs on steel and aluminum while also upping the ante and taxing a whole host of consumer goods.
The list from Canada’s Department of Finance does not specifically mention Magic cards, of course, but the cards are included under the heading of “playing cards” near the very bottom of the list.
You might think that this is a little strange, but Magic cards (alongside the Pokémon Trading Card Game and Yu-Gi-Oh!) are lumped into the same realm of tariffs as the playing cards that you might shuffle up for a good old game of poker at a casino.
CBC infers that the decision to include playing cards is a tactical choice meant to impact conservative leaders in the United States. The playing card tariff specifically targets United States Playing Card Company, whose headquarters is located in GOP Senator Mitch McConnell’s state of Kentucky.
At the end of the day, whatever the reason, Canadian Magic players are getting a bad deal due to the medium that their game takes place through: cards. This means they’re going to pay 10% more for their cards, period. As you will note, video games and other media properties are not on that list, making trading card games uniquely disadvantaged in the trade dispute.
While this trade war is bad for like ten billion reasons, the politicians of the world should take a moment to consider what Urza would do. Or someone nicer, maybe. After all, Canadians gave us the Canadian Highlander format of Magic. They deserve a break!