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Trump backs off China tariff plan with delays for cell phones, laptops

29 Comments
By David Shepardson and David Lawder

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday backed off his plan to impose 10% tariffs on remaining Chinese imports on Sept 1, delaying duties on cell phones, laptops and many other consumer goods in the hopes of blunting their impact on U.S. holiday sales.

The move sent stocks sharply higher and drew cautious relief from retailers and technology groups.

The new tariff will, instead, be effective from Dec 15 for thousands of products including clothing and footwear, possibly buttressing the holiday selling season from some of the fallout from the protracted trade spat between the world's two largest economies.

"We're doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. trade officials.

Liu agreed with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to speak again by phone within the next two weeks, the ministry said.

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

APPLE SHINES

The delay in tariffs on a substantial portion of a $300 billion list of remaining Chinese imports sent U.S. stocks surging by more than 1.5% after steep losses last week as the U.S.-China trade war picture deteriorated following a drop in the value of China's yuan currency.

Shares of market bellwether Apple Inc soared 4% on news that its core iPhone, tablet and laptop computer products would be spared from tariffs for the time being.

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

Among these are smartwatches from Apple and Fitbit, smart speakers from Amazon.com Inc, Google and Apple, and Bluetooth headphones and other devices.

The delay in imposition of the tariffs provides some relief to retailers. Although most stores would have stocked their holiday merchandise before the earlier September deadline, some might have faced the tariffs for fill-in orders late in the holiday shopping season.

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.

Since Trump's Aug 1 tweets announcing the new tariffs, the U.S. benchmark S&P stock index has dropped more than 4% percent.

The exemptions, combined with renewed talks with China, suggest Trump may be willing to compromise.

In a sign the administration may be expecting something in return, 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!" Trump tweeted.

Other products that will have tariffs delayed until Dec 15 include "computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing," the USTR said in a statement.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce praised the tariff delays and said it was "more important than ever that the two sides return to the negotiating table and recommit to achieving progress towards a comprehensive, enforceable agreement."

The Retail Industry Leaders Association said "removing some products from the list and delaying additional 10% tariffs on other products, such as toys, consumer electronics, apparel and footwear, until Dec 15 is welcomed news as it will mitigate some pain for consumers through the holiday season."

The 21-page-list of products that won't get hit with tariffs until December includes baby monitors and strollers, microwaves, instant print cameras, doorbells, high chairs, musical instruments, ketchup dispensers, baby diapers, fireworks, sleeping bags, nativity scenes, fishing reels, paint rollers and food products.

USTR is still moving forward with tariffs on Sept 1 on many products such as live animals, dairy products, skis, golf balls, contact lenses, motorcycle engines, lithium ion batteries, snowblowers and various types of steel. Some clothing items, including coats, men's suits and swimwear, remain on the Sept 1 tariff list.

A separate group of products will also be exempt altogether,"based on health, safety, national security and other factors," it added.

The announcement comes amid growing concerns about a global economic slowdown. Goldman Sachs said on Sunday fears of the U.S.-China trade war leading to a recession are increasing and Goldman no longer expects a trade deal between the two countries before the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Cellphones, laptop and tablet computers, toys and video game controllers were among the top four product categories in the proposed $300 billion list of products targeted by the latest 10% tariff. These products accounted for a combined $98 billion of Chinese imports in 2018, according to a Reuters analysis of U.S. Census bureau data.

Trump has also personally criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping for failing to do more to stem sales of the synthetic opioid fentanyl amid an opioid overdosing crisis in the United States.

The USTR office plans to conduct an exclusion process for products subject to the additional tariff.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

29 Comments

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U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday backed off his plan to impose 10% tariffs on remaining Chinese imports on Sept 1, delaying duties on cell phones, laptops and many other consumer goods in the hopes of blunting their impact on U.S. holiday sales.

Probably should have thought about that before announcing the additional sanctions. But what do I know.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Tariffs are a punitive tax on consumers for choosing to buy foreign products. Trump's economic ignorance, combined with his arrogance and hyper-hysteric urge to save face and "win" is a combustible combination that threatens the lives of average Americans. I would put Trump and AOC in the same group. They are really similar in many ways. Both are economically illiterate to a comical level, both are 100% certain they are right, both refuse to accept the possibility they may be wrong, and both are determined to force their views down on people's throats whether they like it or not.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

A couple of weeks ago I remember some Trumpkin sagely lecturing us on how China was going to back down because they knew they couldn't outlast Donald Trump. The man who shut down the government before he decided to reopen it; who told the Commerce Department to put the citizenship question back on the Census before he decided he couldn't; who told his lackeys to lie to the American people about the Russian meeting in Trump tower before casually admitting to it the next day.

Trump supporters are idiots.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

RE: U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday backed off his plan to impose 10% tariffs on remaining Chinese imports on Sept 1, delaying duties on cell phones, laptops and many other consumer goods in the hopes of blunting their impact on U.S. holiday sales.

Ok, but a lot of folks lost money because of this move including the drop in currency exchange which is in a sense manipulation by Trump not China. China only reduced their currency after yet again wish washy Trump. So much for criticizing Obama, Trump is not following the same footsteps. What a waste. Talks a big game but can't back it up.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

A couple of weeks ago I remember some Trumpkin sagely lecturing us on how China was going to back down because they knew they couldn't outlast Donald Trump

But China is indeed hurting quite a bit, both sides are, don’t think China is unscathed by all of this, a complete farce. If it weren’t, the Chinese wouldn’t still try to meet to negotiate a deal. This is nowhere near over and both sides want it and I hope the President keeps his neck on China.

The man who shut down the government before he decided to reopen it; who told the Commerce Department to put the citizenship question back on the Census before he decided he couldn't;

So he should let the Dems hijack the agenda? Really? As for the citizenship, we just don’t need to know who’s in the country, why would Dems care? The Open borders crowd would never care about that kind of thing.

who told his lackeys to lie to the American people about the Russian meeting in Trump tower before casually admitting to it the next day.

What? Man, oh...if we logged all the Democrat lies it would cover a 24 hour clock.

Trump supporters are idiots.

But smarter than the so called smart people that have the craziest candidates that are running for office, faker than cheap pleather. Lol

-17 ( +0 / -17 )

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

Anyone want to make a bet on whether this will include Trump Ties and Ivanka Shoes - both made in Chinese sweatshops cheating US workers out of jobs?

https://www.bustle.com/p/ivanka-trump-shoes-clothing-suppliers-in-china-get-a-break-from-her-dads-administration-9699770

Trumpers - what do you say?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

What nothing about trump mocking abe and moon?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What nothing about trump mocking abe and moon?

Why ? Was he supposed to " moon " them?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Trump is really effective on trade..more winning..

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Bass4funk:. I hope the President keeps his neck on China.

Then you must be disappointed by his latest move.

This is nowhere near over

Agreed. They are still a million miles apart on a deal.

Now raise the white flag by talking about people who aren't the current President.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Making America Great - a Great Laughing stock.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

But smarter than the so called smart people that have the craziest candidates that are running for office, faker than cheap pleather. Lol

Faker than John Barron?

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/05/01/john-barron-donald-trump-liar/

Faker than the false Time Mag cover with Trump as Man of the Year?

https://www.pbs.org/weta/washingtonweek/web-video/trumps-fake-time-cover-backlash-tweets-about-cable-anchor-and-future-planned-parenthood

Faker than that memo Trump dictated saying the meeting at Trump Tower was about adoptions?

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/02/politics/trump-lawyers-statement-trump-tower-russians/index.html

7 ( +7 / -0 )

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday backed off 

Would this be another cave to add to his growing list, or just another flip-flop.

Anyone want to make a bet on whether this will include Trump Ties and Ivanka Shoes - both made in Chinese sweatshops cheating US workers out of jobs?

And will it affect the dozens of trademarks Ivanka/Trump Inc. have already arranged with the CCP.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Trade wars are easy to win"

7 ( +7 / -0 )

A couple of commenters on this site have problems distinguishing fact from fiction, so they use "one liners" totally irrelevant to the facts and continuously ignore the facts and the truth. Why address the facts when you can just waffle on?

Too bad those one liners are often times run on sentences.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

US retailers finally got through the White House that it will affect the holiday shopping season, particularly gift items like game consoles.

It's also an acknowledgement finally by Trump that the tariffs are not being borne out in full just by Chinese exporters, but that the tariffs are being suffered in part also by the domestic consumers. (Everybody else already knew it though.)

7 ( +7 / -0 )

LOL Trump blinked, those economic numbers are looking bad, will have to postpone until December, then if the Chinese refuse to agree on a deal then Trump can slap on those tarriffs just before Christmas, oops hold on that wont go well with shoppers.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

But China is indeed hurting quite a bit, both sides are, don’t think China is unscathed by all of this, a complete farce. 

nobody wins in a trade war, but biggest difference is President Xi has time on his side and plenty of it, Trump doesnt and the longer this goes on the worse off itll be for Trump politically, Xi well politically hell still be there regardless of what happens. Trumps clearly blinked first and I wonder if hell have the nads to increase tarriffs just before Christmans. lol

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What a waste. Talks a big game but can't back it up.

yep thats basically his history, when the heats on just shutdown and file for bankrupsty, then blame somebody else for your own mistakes

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Don't know what to say about Trump's erratic moves. Is it a genius at work, or a mouth without legs (can't walk the talk)?

Imagine being a Chinese manufacturer trying to fulfil orders, then double down for the American importer trying to organise shipping, customs etc. IMHO, if Trump wanted to level the playing field, it should be one consistent rule, phased in over specific times to suit US industries. ATM, looks like dancing over hot coals, ie sidestepping all over the place.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wow, what a serious Donnie flip-flop....

"We're doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. 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."

Trump earlier this month at a rally in Cincinnati: President Donald Trump told an Ohio audience Thursday that China is footing the bill for the massive tariffs he's slapped on foreign goods coming into the United States. *“Don’t let them tell you, the fact is — China devalues their currency, they pour money into their system. Because of that, you’re not paying for those tariffs. China’s paying for those tariffs,” the president said, hours after announcing the new set of tariffs on Chinese goods. “Until such time as there is a deal, we will be taxing the hell out of China.”*

1) Consumers don't pay for tariffs.... 2) We'll be delaying tariffs because consumers will pay more at Christmas...

He was caught in another lie, and just blinked in his trade war with China.

Americans know he's a lair, and the Chinese know he's a liar and weak...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Trump blinked.

The end.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"Trade wars are easy!" - Drumpf.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Trade wars are easy to win.

Who knew, eh?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Trump supporters are idiots.

Dayum, you just disrespected over 60 million people, Crazy.

If prior U.S. administrations had dealt with this China problem we wouldn't have this trade war now.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Serrano: "Dayum, you just disrespected over 60 million people, Crazy."

I wouldn't call them people, and as usual, you inflate the numbers. Most who voted for Trump before will not do so again do to his racism -- unless they are of similar ilk. Definitely the racists will vote for him again.

"If prior U.S. administrations had dealt with this China problem we wouldn't have this trade war now."

Yeah, never Trump's fault. He started this trade war, not prior governments. He said the president owns the economy, and he owns it as it goes into the biggest deficit the US has ever seen. Good job, bud!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The real reason is probably Trump is giving American Tech companies extra time to move production elsewhere

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

 giving American Tech companies extra time to move production elsewhere,

so they move to Vietnam, India, Thailand , Cambodia etc, what then Americans will jsut buy from those countries instead without tarriffs, it certainly wont reduce America trade deficit, which Trump said hed fix, just spread it around to other countries

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's kind of funny that the Trumpets just have to skip over the comments about trade wars being easy to win. No matter which way they cut it, their dear leader looks foolish for saying it, and they look stupid if they try to defend it. It must annoy them to have to watch their dear leader's comments get dragged through the mud, and have no defense of it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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