Trump says he delayed China tariffs to protect Christmas shoppers

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President Trump on Tuesday said that this administration would hold off on 10% tariffs on some Chinese goods until after the Christmas shopping season. The announcement came the day the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office was set to release a list detailing the specific products that would be covered by the tariffs.

“We’re doing this for the Christmas season,” Trump told reporters in Morristown, New Jersey, Tuesday. “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.”

Earlier in the day, the USTR said: “Certain products are being removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security and other factors and will not face additional tariffs of 10 percent.”

The tariffs are scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 1 if the U.S. and China don’t make progress in the talks before then. The list is expected to cover $300 billion worth of Chinese products.

China’s Commerce Ministry said Tuesday that officials held talks over the phone with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and would have addition phone talks in two weeks.

Talks between the two nations fell apart earlier this month when talks in Shanghai produced no progress. Trump announced on Aug. 1 that the U.S. would proceed with the $300 billion in tariffs, which had previously been put on hold, and said the rates may go as high as 25%, up from their earlier proposed level of 10%. China responded by announcing it was suspending purchases of U.S. farm goods.

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