Trump delays tariffs on Chinese cellphones, laptops, toys; markets jump
[WASHINGTON] US President Donald Trump on Tuesday backed off his Sept 1 deadline for 10 per cent tariffs on remaining Chinese imports, delaying duties on cellphones, laptops and other consumer goods, in the hopes of blunting their impact on US holiday sales. Read more at The Business Times.
The delay in tariffs on a substantial portion of a US$300 billion list of remaining Chinese imports sent US stocks surging, after steep losses in the past week, with the Standard & Poor's 500 up 1.5 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite gaining nearly 2 per cent.
Among these are Chinese-made smartwatches from Apple and Fitbit, smart speakers from Amazon.com Inc, Google and Apple, and Bluetooth headphones and other devices, a category estimated at US$17.9 billion last year by the Consumer Technology Association.
Based on a Reuters analysis, the delay could extend to around half of the US$300 billion list of remaining Chinese imports. Chinese imports subject to the tariffs on Dec 15 totalled about US$156 billion last year, according US Census bureau data.
The Consumer Technology Association applauded the delay on some items, but added:"Next month, we'll begin to pay more for some of our favorite tech devices – including TVs, smart speakers and desktop computers. The administration should permanently remove these harmful tariffs and find another way to hold China accountable for its unfair trading practices."
Mr Trump announced the Sept 1 tariffs less than two weeks ago, blaming China for not following through on promises to buy more American agricultural products during talks in Shanghai at the end of July. That move was met with a drop in China's yuan currency a few days later, prompting the Trump administration to declare Beijing a currency manipulator and sending markets tumbling for several days last week.
In a sign the administration may be expecting something in return, Mr Trump tweeted on Tuesday:"As usual, China said they were going to be buying"big" from our great American Farmers. So far they have not done what they said. Maybe this will be different!"
The USTR office plans to conduct an exclusion process that could allow more items to be removed from the 10 per cent tariff list.Read more: The Business Times
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