The Trump administration on Tuesday narrowed the list of Chinese products it plans to impose new tariffs on as of Sept. 1, delaying levies on cellphones, laptop computers, toys and other consumer goods until after stores stock up for the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons. Stocks soared on the news.
The move, which pushed a new 10 percent tariff on some goods until Dec. 15 and spared others entirely, came as President Trump faces mounting pressure from businesses and consumer groups over the harm they say the continuing trade war between the United States and China is doing.
Mr. Trump’s earlier tariffs on Chinese imports were carefully crafted to hit businesses in ways that everyday Americans would mostly not notice. But his announcement this month of the 10 percent tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods meant consumers would soon feel the trade war’s sting more directly.
On Tuesday, Mr. Trump acknowledged as much.
“We’re doing this for the Christmas season,” he told reporters around noon. “Just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers.”
Mr. Trump has been pressing Beijing since last year to make a trade deal that would, among other things, strengthen protections for American intellectual property, open Chinese markets to American business and result in China buying large quantities of American energy and agricultural goods.
But negotiators for the United States and China have made little progress since May, when progress stalled out over several issues. The stumbling blocks include whether Mr. Trump would roll back the 25 percent tariffs the administration has already imposed on roughly $250 billion of Chinese goods and whether Beijing would enshrine in law the reforms it has pledged to make.
Mr. Trump’s comments about the tariffs’ impact on consumers followed the United States trade representative’s office announcement that