Sun | Aug 25, 2019

US delays tariffs on some Chinese goods, drops others

Published:Wednesday | August 14, 2019 | 12:17 AM

The United States is delaying tariffs on Chinese-made cell phones, laptop computers and other items and removing other Chinese imports from its target list altogether in a move that triggered a rally on Wall Street.

The Office of the US Trade Representative said Tuesday that it is still planning to go ahead with 10% tariffs on about $300 billion in Chinese imports, extending the import taxes on just about everything China ships to the United States in a dispute over Beijing’s aggressive trade policies. Most of the levies are scheduled to kick in September 1.

But the agency says it would delay the tariffs to December 15 on some goods, including cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, shoes and clothing. And it’s removing other items from the list based “on health, safety, national security and other factors.”

The news sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average up more than 460 points in mid-morning trading. Shares of Apple, Mattel and shoe brand Steve Madden shot up on the news.

Negotiators spoke by phone

Separately, China’s Ministry of Commerce reported that top Chinese negotiators spoke by phone with their US counterparts, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and plan to talk again in two weeks.

Together, the developments revived optimism that the world’s two biggest economies can make progress towards resolving a trade dispute that has rattled financial markets for more than a year and clouded prospects for the global economy.

The United States and China are fighting over American allegations that Beijing steals trade secrets and forces foreign companies to hand over technology. The tactics are part of China’s drive to become a world leader in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and electric cars.

– AP