Trump Delays Tariffs on Some Chinese Goods Until December

A staff member works on a mobile phone production line during a media tour in a Huawei factory in China’s Guangdong province on March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

WASHINGTON (CN) – Two weeks after President Donald Trump escalated his trade war by announcing an additional 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods, his administration said Tuesday some electronics and other items will be exempt until December.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said tariffs on cellphones, laptops, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and some shoes and clothing will be delayed until Dec. 15.

The office also said certain other items are being removed from the tariff list due to health, safety and national security reasons, but did not specify which items. It said it would publish additional details in the Federal Register.

Tariffs on nearly all other Chinese goods are still set to take effect. Sept. 1.

In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump accused China of “massive devaluation of their currency” and reiterated his earlier criticism that the Chinese have not made good on a promise to buy more U.S. agricultural products.

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

The news of delayed tariffs was felt on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by more than 460 points on Tuesday morning.

Last year, Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina at the G20 Summit and agreed to a deal for China to purchase more American products, among other trade-specific stipulations. But the deal stopped short when Trump announced higher tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in May.

In June, Trump and Xi symbolically agreed to a second deal for China to purchase a large amount of agricultural products at this year’s G20 Summit in Japan, but Trump accused China of hesitating on that deal while announcing the new 10% tariff on Aug. 1.

Archil Cheishvili, CEO for GenesisAi, which uses artificial intelligence to form an analytics platform for capital markets, said he believed the exemption of certain products was dually motivated. For one, the exemptions are a way for Trump to delay an impending financial downturn in the United States, he said.

“We believe Trump is trying to … make sure the recession won’t start before the election,” Cheishvili said in an interview Tuesday. “The second thing is making sure that China will not be positioned well to be the number one economy in the world.”

Like the 2008 financial crisis, when the value of the housing market plummeted, Cheishvili said other markets will take a hit when the strain of tariffs is passed to American businesses. One market that will be largely affected by these tariffs will be the technology sector, he said.

“We believe that this will change tech stocks and they will be the first ones that will take deep cuts,” Cheishvili said. “A lot of startups will have to raise more money and it’s a downward spiral.”

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

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