US postpones tariffs on some Chinese products, including cell phones & laptops

Further US tariffs on some Chinese imports are set to be delayed until December 15, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has announced.

In Tuesday’s statement, the USTR announced Washington’s next steps in the trade conflict with Beijing.

The agency said that imposing an additional tariff of 10 percent on approximately $300 billion of Chinese imports, due to take effect on September 1, will be delayed on certain articles.

Cell phones, laptops, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing won’t be hit by new tariffs until December 15.

At the same, the new levies will not target “certain products” as they were removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security, and other factors, according to the USTR.

At the beginning of the month, US President Donald Trump threatened to hit China with additional 10-percent tariffs on the remaining $300 billion of the country’s imports starting September 1. The new levies are set to be added on top of the $250 billion in Chinese imports already taxed at 25 percent.

China retaliated by ordering a halt to purchases of American agricultural products. The move is considered a huge blow to Trump’s key constituency, farmers, who have suffered from the loss of China’s large export market.

While trade talks between the US and Chinese delegations are continuing, the two sides have failed to hammer out a deal that can put an end to the year-long trade row.

US stock markets soared on the news of the delayed tariffs. Around an hour after the opening bell on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.76 percent, adding 456.25 points.  The Nasdaq Composite surged 174 points, or 2.2 percent, and the S&P 500 added more than 50 points, or 1.75 percent.