Trump delays tariffs on some Chinese goods

August 14, 2019 09:10
Donald Trump said he decided to delay new tariffs on Chinese goods in order to reduce their impact on US holiday shoppers. Photo: Reuters

The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that new tariffs on some Chinese goods will be delayed from the previous schedule of Sept. 1, a move aimed at blunting their impact on US holiday sales 

The delay, which affects about half of the US$300 billion target list of Chinese goods, will mean temporary relief for items including cellphones, laptops and other consumer goods, Reuters reports.

Trump’s 10 percent tariffs will now be delayed until Dec. 15 for thousands of products including clothing and footwear.

“We’re doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on US customers,” Trump told reporters in New Jersey.

“Just in case they might have an impact on people, what we’ve done is we’ve delayed it so that they won’t be relevant to the Christmas shopping season.”

The US Trade Representative’s Office announced the decision just minutes after China’s Ministry of Commerce said Vice Premier Liu He conducted a phone call with US trade officials, according to Reuters.

Liu agreed with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to speak again by phone within the next two weeks, the ministry was quoted as saying.

Trump has said the two sides may still meet in early September as scheduled.

But the Trump administration still plans to impose 10 percent tariffs on thousands of Chinese food, clothing and other consumer electronics products beginning Sept. 1.

Among these are Chinese-made smartwatches from Apple and Fitbit, smart speakers from Amazon, Google and Apple, and Bluetooth headphones and other devices, according to the report.

Flat screen televisions from China, a category worth US$4.5 billion, also will face 10 percent tariffs on Sept. 1 after being spared from Trump’s first round of tariffs more than a year ago.

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