Trump delays tariffs on some Chinese goods


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

Responding to pressure from businesses and growing fears that a trade war is threatening the U.S. economy, the Trump administration is delaying most of the import taxes it planned to impose on Chinese goods and is dropping others altogether.

The announcement Tuesday from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative was greeted with relief on Wall Street and by retailers who have grown fearful that the new tariffs would wreck holiday sales.

The administration says it still plans to proceed with 10 percent tariffs on about $300 billion in Chinese imports – extending its import taxes to just about everything China ships to the U.S. in a dispute over Beijing’s strong-arm trade policies.

But under pressure from retailers and other businesses, President Donald Trump’s trade office said it would delay until Dec. 15 the tariffs on nearly 60 percent of the imports that had been set to absorb the new taxes starting Sept. 1. Among the products that will benefit from the 31/2-month reprieve are such popular consumer goods as cellphones, laptops, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, shoes and clothing.

The administration is also removing other items from the tariff list entirely, based on what it called “health, safety, national security and other factors.”

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

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