The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on Tuesday issued a notice stating that an additional planned 10% tariff set to take effect on Sept. 1 on many imports from China will be delayed on some of those products until Dec. 15. The move was expected to provide relief to U.S. retailers and consumers ahead of the critical holiday selling season.
The delayed products—about half the $300 billion of Chinese goods recently targeted by the United States—include cellphones, laptops and other consumer goods. The delay, as well as news that trade discussions between officials from the United States and China would resume, had an immediate positive impact on the U.S. stock market, sending futures higher.
But the administration still plans to impose 10% tariffs on thousands of Chinese products on the original Sept. 1 deadline, including food, clothing and other consumer electronics.
USTR also intends to conduct an exclusion process for some products subject to the tariff, including those from Apple, Google and Amazon, a category estimated at $17.9 billion last year by the Consumer Technology Association. But the administration still plans to impose 10% tariffs on thousands of Chinese products on the original Sept. 1 deadline, including food, clothing and other consumer electronics.
Impact on retailers
“We’re doing (it) just for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs could have an impact,” the president said, speaking to reporters in New Jersey.
Most retailers concerned about higher prices resulting from new tariffs have already stocked their holiday merchandise. The impact of the original September deadline would have been limited to retailers’ fill-in orders later in the holiday shopping season.
Still, the Retail Industry Leaders Association said the administration’s latest move was “welcome news as it will mitigate some pain for consumers through the holiday season.”