The United States will delay proposed tariffs on many consumer electronics imported from China, the Trump administration said today, giving a reprieve to gadget makers that are hoping to wait out a trade war between the two countries.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative said in a statement that it was moving forward with plans to impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion in Chinese goods. President Trump said in August that, after negotiations with China had stalled, the tariffs were set to be imposed on September 1st, a timeline that the trade representative said was still in place. The administration has already levied a 25 percent tariff on a smaller subset of Chinese imports.
The administration said “certain products” would be removed from the new list of tariffs “based on health, safety, national security and other factors.” The statement also said the administration will halt tariffs until December 15th for certain other goods. “Products in this group include, for example, cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing,” the statement read.
The announcement will give some relief to manufacturers like Apple, which has said the costs of the tariffs will be passed on to consumers and has asked for an exemption for Mac Pro parts. Trump has pledged to deny that request, and he previously said consumers could stand a 10 percent hike on iPhone costs “very easily.”