U.S. delay in tariffs calms market momentarily

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WASHINGTON — The United States is delaying tariffs on Chinese-made electronics, while removing other Chinese imports from a target list altogether, in a move that lead to a surge in Wall Street.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative stated that it still plans to go ahead with 10% tariffs on about $300 billion in Chinese imports on just about everything China ships to the United States in a dispute over Beijing’s aggressive trade policies. The tariffs are expected to be implemented Sept. 1.

Under the scrutiny of retailers and businesses, the agency folded, deciding to delay the tariffs to Dec. 15 on some goods, including cellphones, laptop computers, video game consoles, toys, computer monitors, shoes and clothing.

The tariff delay is briefly interrupting trade tensions between the U.S. and China, which have caused markets to be in flux until recently. News of the delay left Wall Street at ease with the Dow Jones up more than 460 points in midmorning trading.

The delay seemed timed to cushion the impact of tariffs on consumer goods until after the holidays. Hun Quach, vice president of international trade at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, welcomed the move, saying it “will mitigate some pain for consumers through the holiday shopping season.”

China’s Ministry of Commerce has reported that top Chinese negotiators spoke by phone with their U.S. counterparts, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and plan to talk again in two weeks.

The following developments have tempered the mood of investors worried about the trade dispute escalation; the dispute has impacted the global economy.

One of the major elements of the U.S. and China dispute are allegations that Beijing steals trade secrets and forces foreign companies to hand over technology. These tactics are instrumental towards China’s drive to become a market leader in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and electric cars.

The administration’s delay is brought by growing concern about the economic fallout from the U.S.-China trade war.

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Information provided by the Associated Press

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