U.S. removes some China tariffs, delays others as talks continue

Apple shares soared Tuesday as the U.S. Trade Representative Office removed some Chinese tariffs before they took effect. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

Aug. 13 (UPI) — The U.S. Trade Representative office on Tuesday removed certain items from the China tariff list due to “health, safety, national security and other factors.”

The imposing of tariffs on other products — including cellphones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, shoes and clothing — has been delayed until Dec. 15.

The list of products impacted by the delay includes certain kitchenware, plastics, furnishings, essential oils of eucalyptus and foods, such as Alaska pollock.

On Aug. 1, President Donald Trump announced new 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods to take effect Sept. 1.

Trump said he made the decision to help “a lot of different groups of people.”

“We had a very good talk [Monday] with China — a very, very productive call,” he said. “I think they want to do something. I think they’d like to do something dramatic.”

Trump said, however, Beijing has reneged on promises in the past — including an agreement this month to buy more U.S. agricultural products.

The news sent shares of companies like Apple, Best Buy, Nike, Kohl’s and other retailers soaring because their imported products won’t initially be affected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 464 points Tuesday morning while the S&P 500 rose 1.7 percent and the Nasdaq Composite was up 2.2 percent.

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“They’ve said this many times. … So far, they’ve disappointed me with the truth. They haven’t been truthful.”

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said they talked with Chinese Vice Premier Liu and they agreed to talk again in two weeks.

Trump said China isn’t fulfilling its end of the bargain and that American farmers getting assistance from the government are better off than they would be selling to China.

“As usual, China said they were going to be buying ‘big’ from our great American Farmers,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “So far they have not done what they said. Maybe this be different!”

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a coalition of trade associations and agriculture groups, was cautious in its reply to Trump’s decision.

“While we appreciate the delay of some of the tariffs, this clearly shows that the administration recognizes that tariffs are taxes paid by Americans,” it said in a statement. “It appears the administration understands that taxes on everyday products such as toys, clothes and electronics would be politically unpopular and hurt those who can least afford it.

“Unfortunately, today’s announcement doesn’t address the vast majority of tariffs that are driving uncertainty, putting farmers out of business and causing small businesses to slow hiring.”


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