U.S. to delay China tariffs on some products, including laptops, cell phones

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration will delay imposing a 10% tariff on certain Chinese products, including laptops and cell phones, that had been scheduled to start next month, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said on Tuesday.

The USTR’s action was published just minutes after China’s Ministry of Commerce said Vice Premier Liu He conducted a phone call with U.S. trade officials.

Other products whose tariffs will be delayed until Dec. 15 include “computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing,” the USTR said in a statement.

A separate group of products will also be exempt altogether, “based on health, safety, national security and other factors,” it added.

Technology investors welcomed news of the exemptions, pushing an index of chip stocks up 2.8%, while shares of Apple (AAPL.O) surged more than 5%.

President Donald Trump said on Aug. 1 he would impose a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods, blaming China for not following through on promises to buy more American agricultural products. He also personally criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping for failing to do more to stem sales of the synthetic opioid fentanyl amid an opioid overdosing crisis in the United States.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office will publish additional details and lists of the specific product types impacted by the announcement. The office plans to conduct an exclusion process for products subject to the additional tariff.

Reporting by David Shepardson and Makini Brice; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Bernadette Baum

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