Responding to pressure from businesses and growing fears that a trade war is threatening the U.S. economy, the Trump administration is delaying some import taxes it planned to impose on Chinese goods and is dropping others altogether.
The announcement Tuesday from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative was greeted with relief on Wall Street and by retailers who have grown fearful that the new tariffs would wreck holiday sales.
The administration says it still plans to proceed with 10% tariffs on about $300 billion in Chinese imports — extending its import taxes to just about everything China ships to the United States in a dispute over Beijing’s strong-arm trade policies. Most of the new tariffs are scheduled to kick in Sept. 1.
But under pressure from retailers and other businesses, President Donald Trump’s trade office said it would delay until Dec. 15 the 10% tariffs on some Chinese imports, including such popular consumer goods as cellphones, laptops, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, shoes and clothing.
The administration is also removing other items from the tariff list entirely, based on what it called “health, safety, national security and other factors.”
Separately, China’s Ministry of Commerce reported that top Chinese negotiators had spoken by phone with their U.S. counterparts, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and planned to talk again in two weeks.
The news sent the Dow Jones industrial average soaring. It closed up 372 points, led by Apple, Mattel and shoe brand Steve Madden, which stand to benefit from the delayed tariffs.
Speaking to reporters in New Jersey, Trump confirmed that he had decided to delay the tariffs, which could force retailers to raise prices, to avoid the…