As first reported by the CBC and later confirmed by Kotaku, a new tariff on playing cards, including Magic: the Gathering, will hurt the Canadian market for cards thanks to a 10% mark-up. The tariff is believed to be aimed primarily at casino-use playing cards which are manufactured by The United States Playing Card Company which is headquartered in Kentucky, the home state of Senator Mitch McConnell, widely seen as enabling Trump’s chaotic presidency by refusing to enact any kind of congressional oversight on the president.

The result is that the price of sealed product will be going up for Canadian consumers, who have already been watching the value of the Canadian dollar drop against the American dollar. A pack that retails for $3.99 USD is now $5.24 CDN and a 10% tariff brings that up to almost six dollars CDN.

The bottom line is that over the coming months the Canadian Magic consumer is going to have to start paying the cost with packs at $6 almost certainly resulting in $20 CDN drafts. Some people are speculating that the retail cost of a box of Return to Return to Ravnica will be $200 CDN.

And of course, this could just be the beginning, as the US Government continues to wage trade wars against Europe, China, and other various allies and enemies. Of course, none of this could have been predictable right?

Our Last Days as a Nation

On the eve of the 2016 election I implored people to vote for Clinton instead of Trump for four reasons that impacted Magic players directly:

  1. Unpredictable foreign trade policies could hurt Magic consumers
  2. Climate change could make it difficult to travel to events in tropical parts of the world
  3. Border controls could make it difficult for LatAm players to travel to North America
  4. Gun controls, or rather the lack thereof, could lead to reduced tournament attendance

Turns out I was right about that whole foreign trade thing. Will I be right about the other predictions? I certainly hope not. What’s most likely still is that the foreign trade situation continues to get worse for everyone involved. Increased cost will reduce sales for Wizards of the Coast and the Texas-based manufacturing plant operated by Carta Mundi.

For a game that’s already struggling to grow internationally and move into markets in China and Southeast Asia, it’s hard to imagine that anyone at Wizards of the Coast or its partners are happy about this situation.

Grand Prix Beijing and the Future of Magic in China

As Magic fans and players we just want to play the game and share our love of the game with other friends and family. Magic is also a very small community and something that hurts one of us hurts all of us.

Now, Canadian retailers and local game store owners are left facing the reality of reduced sales and reduced attendance rates at tournaments. Make no mistake, stores will suffer greatly because of this until the tariff goes away.

This isn’t about conservative versus liberal or alt-right versus social justice warrior. It’s a very simple fact that Canadians suddenly have to pay 10% to play Magic because of a chaotic foreign policy and a Senate Majority Leader who refuses to help businesses in his home state.

The next election cycle is in four months. You may choose to stay home because you don’t think elections impact you, but they do, and they impact your MTG friends and family across the border as well.

We all just want to play and enjoy Magic. Is that so much to ask for?

Rich Stein is a retired Magic player, an amateur content creator, and a Level 2 Social Justice Sorcerer. He hopes to eventually become a professional content creator and a Level 20 dual class Social Justice Sorcerer/Bard but he’s more than content to remain a retired Magic player. You can follow his musings on Twitter @RichStein13

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