US delays tariffs on some Chinese goods, drops others

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is delaying tariffs on Chinese-made cellphones, laptop computers and other items and removing other Chinese imports from its target list altogether in a move that triggered a rally on Wall Street.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said today it is still planning to go ahead with 10 percent tariffs on about $300 billion in Chinese imports, extending the import taxes on just about everything China ships to the United States in a dispute over Beijing's aggressive trade policies. Most of the levies are scheduled to kick in Sept. 1.

But under pressure from retailers and other businesses, the agency said it would delay the tariffs to Dec. 15 on some goods, including cellphones, laptop computers, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, shoes and clothing.

The news sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average up more than 460 points in midmorning trading. Shares of Apple, Mattel and shoe brand Steve Madden shot up on the news.

The delay seemed timed to cushion the impact of tariffs on consumer goods until after the holidays. Hun Quach, vice president of international trade at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, welcomed the move, saying it "will mitigate some pain for consumers through the holiday shopping season."

USTR is also removing other items from the list based "on health, safety, national security and other factors."

Separately, China's Ministry of Commerce reported that top Chinese negotiators spoke by phone with their U.S. counterparts, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and plan to talk again in two weeks.

Together, the developments calmed investors who'd been worried about an escalation in a trade dispute that has rattled financial markets for more than a year and clouded prospects for the global economy.

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