Now may be the time to buy your China-made Squier while it's still cheap
It's normally a really bad idea to bring politics into music because the two just don't mix. However, this time it matters and you'll understand why in just a moment.
In the most recent "town hall" US Presidential election debate, both candidates said without any reservation that China isn't playing fair when it comes the actual value of items, and that either would make China pay their fair share in the upcoming presidential term.
What this means to you, the guitar player, is that when 2013 rolls around, the price of Chinese-made guitars may suddenly spike in price across the board all over the world, because generally speaking, the rest of the world follows what the US does. (Note: It's just a common thing that other nations usually follow our lead whether it's the right or wrong thing to do.. that's just how it works.)
I'll use the Squier Bullet Strat - the lowest-priced standard-sized Strat guitar Fender makes, as the example here.
Over the past 5 years, the price of the guitar has only risen 10 dollars. It started at $119, then in 2012 was raised 10 dollars to a selling price of $129. That's an 8.4% price increase, which is in fact fairly significant. However, given the base price is so cheap to begin with, most budget-minded guitar players don't mind spending the extra 10 bucks.
After 2013 rolls around, it would not surprise me at all if the China-made Squier Bullet Strat had a 40% price increase from $129 to $180 due to new import tariffs that would be imposed no matter who is President.
Think it can't happen? You just watch.
If you've got your eye on a China-made guitar right now - any China-made guitar - I strongly suggest you buy now before the end of the US Presidential election. The message has been sent loud and clear that cheap Chinese stuff is going to come to an end very quickly once 2013 starts.
And yes, this extends beyond guitars into effects, electronics and literally anything else that's made in China right now. Get it while it's cheap, because after 2012, it's game over and the prices will go up sharply.
On a final note, yeah I could be wrong and the prices of China-made imported stuff may remain the same... but I seriously doubt it.