United States delays tariffs on cellphones, laptops and toys from China

Clay Curtis
August 13, 2019

In addition to the tariff delay on some items, the USTR says other products will be completely exempt "based on health, safety, national security and other factors".

The surprise news from the United States Trade Representative office sparked a 5% jump in Apple shares.

The USTR's announcement was released minutes after China's Ministry of Commerce said Vice Premier Liu He had conducted a phone call with US trade officials.

Financial markets surged after the USA announced it will not impose a 10% tariff on certain products starting September 1 and is pushing back planned duties on a range of popular consumer goods.

Technology investors welcomed news of the exemptions, pushing an index of chip stocks up 2.8%.

Since Trump's August 1 tweets threatening the new tariffs, the US benchmark S&P stock index has dropped more than 4% percent.

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The United States Trade Representative (USTR) said it has removed a number of items from the list of products that will be subject to a 10 per cent tariff as of September 1, while delayed the implementation of the tariff on others.

The USTR's announcement comes amid growing concerns about a global economic slowdown.

Stock markets surged Tuesday after US trade authorities scaled back plans to put another 10 per cent tariff on Chinese goods starting next month, and have made a decision to temporarily exclude things like computers, game consoles, some toys and clothes from the punitive measure.

Trump has also personally criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping for failing to do more to stem sales of the synthetic opioid fentanyl amid an opioid overdosing crisis in the United States. It said talks with trade representative Robert Lighthizer and treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin would occur again in two weeks' time.

"Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the USA will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 billion dollars of products coming from China into our country", he tweeted at the time.

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