Trump delays tariff on China for cellphones, laptops and many consumer goods

14-08-2019
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President Donald Trump on Tuesday backed off his plan to impose 10 per cent tariffs on remaining Chinese imports on Sep 1, delaying duties on cellphones, laptops and many other consumer goods, hoping to soften their impact on the US holiday sales. These items however make up only part of the list of consumer goods to be imposed with tariffs.

The Trump administration still plans to impose 10 per cent tariffs on thousands of Chinese food, clothing and other consumer electronics products beginning Sep 1.

Still, the move sent stocks climbing sharply 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 buffering the holiday selling season from some of the fallout from the prolonged trade spat between the world's two largest economies.

The delay in tariffs sent US stocks surging by more than 1.5 per cent after steep losses last week as the effects of the US-China trade war worsened following a drop in the value of China's yuan currency.

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

NOT ALL ITEMS SPARED

Among items that are not spared 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 Sep 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.

Source: Reuters