The Trump administration delays a portion of planned China tariffs until December – Business Insider

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donald trumpAssociated Press/Evan Vucci

  • The Trump administration on Tuesday announced that it would exempt certain Chinese goods from new tariffs set to take effect in September and that other planned tariffs would be delayed until the end of the year.
  • “Certain products are being removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security, and other factors and will not face additional tariffs of 10%,” the US Office of the Trade Representative said in a statement.
  • Cellphones, laptops, video game consoles, toys, computer monitors, and some footwear and clothes are among the items now facing tariffs on December 15.
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The Trump administration on Tuesday announced that it would exempt certain Chinese goods from new tariffs set to take effect in September and that other tariffs would be delayed until the end of the year.

“Certain products are being removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security, and other factors and will not face additional tariffs of 10%,” the US Office of the Trade Representative said in a statement.

Cellphones, laptops, video game consoles, toys, computer monitors, and some footwear and clothes are among the items now facing tariffs on December 15.

The move was a result “of USTR’s public comment and hearing process,” the statement said. Hundreds of companies testified in June against the escalating trade war with China, with many warning that planned tariff escalations would raise costs at home and hurt American jobs.

Marking a significant escalation, President Donald Trump this month said he would extend tariffs in September to all remaining US imports from China. China vowed to take countermeasures against any escalations, with those threats growing louder last week.

The US Treasury Department designated China as a currency manipulator for the first time since 1994 last Monday after the nation allowed the yuan to weaken past a critical level against the dollar. China said it would halt agricultural purchases to retaliate.

Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke with Vice Premier Liu He by phone Tuesday morning. Another phone call is planned for the end of August, according to the USTR Office. 

But the prospect of an imminent deal has dimmed in recent weeks. Trump on Friday said the US would cut ties with Huawei, a reversal on the Chinese telecommunications and smartphone giant that has become a bargaining chip in trade negotiations.

Trump lashed out at China for its weakening currency hours before the USTR announcement Tuesday. He also on Monday touted a $28 billion bailout program for farmers, who lost one of their biggest customers as a result of the tariff dispute.

“Through massive devaluation of their currency and pumping vast sums of money into their system, the tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. is receiving is a gift from China,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Prices not up, no inflation. Farmers getting more than China would be spending. Fake News won’t report!”

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