USA delays tariffs on some Chinese goods, drops others

Jeannie Matthews
August 14, 2019

The top USA trade negotiator on Tuesday said that new tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese-made consumer goods including cell phones, toys and video game consoles would be delayed until December 15.

Further, as part of USTR's public comment and hearing process, it was determined that the tariff should be delayed to December 15 for certain articles.

The products include mobile phones, laptops, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, and certain footwear and clothing. Although most retailers would have had their holiday merchandise in stores even before the earlier September deadline, some might have faced the tariffs for fill-in orders late in the holiday shopping season.

Jay Foreman, CEO of the toy company Basic Fun, said he's pleased that the 10% tariffs have been delayed for products like his until December.

The decision came less than two weeks after President Donald Trump said on August 1 he would impose a 10 per cent tariff on $300-billion of Chinese goods, blaming China for not following through on promises to buy more American agricultural products.

Trump went on to say the USA has collected close to $59 billion in tariffs thus far from China, which he called "amazing". While to the north, Canada on July 1 imposed tariffs on $12.6 billion worth of USA goods, including steel, aluminum, coffee, ketchup and bourbon whiskey in retaliation for United States tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative says the rest of the tariffs on Chinese imports scheduled to kick in on September 1 will continue.

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Trump's duties on Chinese goods have also pushed stock prices lower, which could depress spending by wealthier Americans, Goldman found. It's possible China has chose to bear the pain of Trump's trade war for the next 15 months and hope Trump loses the 2020 election.

The tariff announcement came shortly after Trump insisted again that his levies were not causing higher prices for American consumers and that China was bearing the cost of them. "Maybe this will be different!"

"As usual, China said they were going to be buying "big" from our great American Farmers".

"They really would like to make a deal", Trump said Tuesday before boarding a helicopter in Morristown, New Jersey.

The delay seemed timed to cushion the impact of tariffs on consumer goods until after the holidays.

For some analysts, that data spoke against the U.S. Federal Reserve delivering another swift cut in interest rates.

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