WASHINGTON—The Trump administration says it will delay imposing a 10 percent tariff on a series of consumer goods imported from China—including laptops and cell phones—until December to ease fears about the trade war’s impact on markets and the economy. The reprieve, which triggered a relief rally in U.S. equity markets, was announced after Liu He, China’s vice premier, spoke with Robert Lighthizer, U.S. trade representative, and Steven Mnuchin, the U.S. Treasury secretary, by phone last Tuesday and agreed to have another conversation next week.
The value of the goods that would see delayed tariffs is about $156 Billion, based on full-year 2018 figures, according to financial analysts. That is more than half the $300 Bilion of new goods that were set to be subject to the 10 per cent tariff.
Speaking in New Jersey last Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he was delaying the new tariffs on some products to protect shoppers “for the Christmas season”. He said the decision was made after a “very good call” with China, and repeated his mantra that Beijing would “really like to make a deal."