Trump Suspends China Tariffs, 'Saves Christmas'

White supremacist Santa Claus, Donald Trump, at the White House on August 9, 2019 (Photo: Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has saved Christmas. For now, anyway.

The Trump regime announced it’s postponing the implementation of a 10-per cent tariff on roughly $US300 ($441) billion of imports from China, including smartphones, laptops, computer monitors, video game consoles and a host of other products.

“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 per cent,” United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced Wednesday in a press release on its website.

Last month, Trump announced these tariffs would be imposed in September on goods that had escaped the tariffs already imposed in May. The 10-per cent tariffs are now scheduled to take effect December 15 in the U.S., if they get implemented at all. That means whatever negative impact the tariffs might have on U.S. consumers likely won’t fully show up until after the holidays, as many of the products people will buy during that pre-Christmas period will have already been imported into the U.S. and thus avoid any potential new tariffs.

Editor's Note: Given Australia's ties to the American economy, these tariffs will likely have knock-on effects for Australians as well.

CNBC commentator Jim Cramer speculated on air today that the only reason President Trump is delaying the tariffs is because he wants the markets to rise.

“I asked for Apple to be excluded. I guess my wish is their command,” Cramer said, laughing with his cohost.

“You know what this is? I think this is the president saying, ‘You know, I don’t want the stock market down anymore and this is traumatic,’” Cramer said, referring to the trauma of investors. Won’t someone think of the investors?

A full list of the products affected was not immediately available, but the USTR claimed in a statement that it would post the list to the Federal Register “as soon as possible” along with additional details. CNBC is reporting that the 10 per cent tariffs may indeed jack up prices on some products on September 1, but not on the consumer electronics that the USTR said were safe.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who has helped lead the trade negotiations with the U.S., reportedly had a call with the U.S. Commerce Department Wednesday, though it’s not immediately clear what was discussed.

The Dow jumped 500 points on the news and Apple, which was particularly concerned about the potential impact on smartphone and laptop sales, rose over 9 per cent.

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