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    US delaying China tariffs for some items including cellphones, removing other products from list

    The United States Trade Representative office said Tuesday certain items were being removed from the new China tariff list because of "health, safety, national security and other factors" while tariffs on other items would be delayed until December 15.

    The products in the group that will have tariffs delayed include "cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing," the USTR said.

    Last month, President Donald Trump announced a new round of tariffs of 10% on $300 billion of Chinese imports that eluded duties in the earlier round announced in May. The USTR published a list of products in May that may be subject to an addition 10% tariff and that list is now being edited to avoid health and security factors. 

    The new round of tariffs specifically took aim at retailers so the news of certain footwear and apparel tariffs being delayed has eased pressure on some of the major retailers that have suffered in recent weeks. Nike, Kohl's, and Nordstrom were all trading higher. The retail ETF the XRT rose over 4%, on pace for its best day since December of 2018. 

    Delays on centerpiece technology items like cellphones and laptops is also lifting pressure off of tech stocks and distributors of technology items. Apple shares traded nearly 5% higher on the news and Best Buy soared more than 8%. 

    The USTR did not specify which items will be removed from the list but it added that it will conduct an "exclusion process for products subject to additional tariff."

    Separately, China's Commerce Ministry said Vice Premier Liu had a phone call with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. China said they agreed to another call in two weeks.

    The next round of trade talks were expected to take place in September, after the tariffs went into place.

    Markets rallied on the new tariff news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 500 points, while the S&P 500 was 1.5% higher and the Nasdaq rose 1.9%. 

    Uncertainty around the trade war has weighed on the markets, causing stocks to have their worst day of the year on August 5, when China let its currency weaken, crossing the 7 yuan-per-dollar threshold and said it would halt imports of agricultural goods from the U.S. 

    Here's the full statement from the USTR:

    USTR Announces Next Steps on Proposed 10 Percent Tariff on Imports from China

    Washington, DC - The United States Trade Representative (USTR) today announced the next steps in the process of imposing an additional tariff of 10 percent on approximately $300 billion of Chinese imports.

    On May 17, 2019, USTR published a list of products imported from China that would be potentially subject to an additional 10 percent tariff. This new tariff will go into effect on September 1 as announced by President Trump on August 1.

    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 December 15 for certain articles. 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.

    USTR intends to conduct an exclusion process for products subject to the additional tariff.

    The USTR will publish on its website today, and in the Federal Register as soon as possible, additional details and lists of the tariff lines affected by this announcement.

    Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated cellphones were being removed from list. They are part of the delay.


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