The US has delayed imposing an extra 10 percent import tariff on mobile phones, laptops and other consumer goods until 15 December. The new rate against Chinese imports had been planned to take effect on 01 September. The delay gives the country more time to negotiate a new trade deal with China.
The United States Trade Representative confirmed the decision. The US had announced in May plans to impose another 10 percent tariff on around USD 300 billion of Chinese imports. President Donald Trump said earlier this month that the tariffs would take effect from September.
The USTR said certain products are being removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security and other factors and will not face additional tariffs of 10 percent. Further, as part of USTR’s public comment and hearing process, it was determined that the tariff should be delayed to 15 December for certain articles, including mobile phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing.
The USTR said it will publish in the Federal Register as soon as possible additional details and lists of the tariff lines affected.
The delay is expected to spare a number of US manufacturers producing key consumer goods in demand for the year-end holidays, such as Apple. However, the tariffs imposed earlier this year by the US against Chinese goods remain in effect and are impacting key sectors such as 5G, noted FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. In a tweet she noted that the 25 percent tariff remains in effect on 5G antennas, semiconductors and routers.
According to the US Consumer Technology Association, the remaining tariffs taking effect on 01 September will affect USD 52 billion in consumer technology products, and the tariffs starting 15 December another USD 115 billion in products. Since July 2018, the Section 301 tariffs on China have cost the consumer tech industry over USD 10 billion, including USD 1 billion on 5G-related products, the group said.―Telecompaper