Tariff postponements prove Trump 'doesn't care' about changing China, Wyden says

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Top Senate Finance Committee Democrat Ron Wyden said Tuesday that President Trump’s move to temporarily exclude certain Chinese products from tariffs demonstrates that he isn’t interested in forcing China to change its policies. The administration announced it was making the exclusions Tuesday to prevent disruption to Christmas shopping.

“Today’s announcement is more proof that Trump’s tariffs have always been about getting the headlines he wants,” the Oregon Democrat said Tuesday. “He doesn’t care about actually changing China’s behavior, and he doesn’t care how these tariffs impact American families. Postponing tariffs on video game consoles and pet toys is giving Trump the stock market bump he wants, but he’s still going ahead with tariffs on books, school supplies, and clothes that will hit working Americans the hardest.”

The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office said on Tuesday said it would hold off on 10% tariffs on some Chinese goods. The announcement came the day the USTR was set to release a list detailing the specific products that would be covered by the tariffs, which cover an estimated $300 billion in goods. The tariffs are currently set to go into effect on Sept. 1.

“We’re doing this for the Christmas season,” Trump told reporters in Morristown, New Jersey. “Just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers, which so far they have had virtually none. … What we’ve done is we’ve delayed it, so that they won’t be relevant to the Christmas shopping season.”

Also on Tuesday, administration officials and their Chinese counterparts held their first trade talks since a breakdown in negotiations earlier this month. The talks were held over the phone, and the Chinese Commerce Ministry said the next talks will happen again in two weeks.

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