Trump delays some tariffs on Chinese imports

15:36 | 15/08/2019 Global Economy

The US is delaying imposing tariffs on some imports from China until 15 December because of "health, safety, national security and other factors".

The products include mobile phones, laptops, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, and certain footwear and clothing.

Other items facing a 10% tariff will go ahead as planned on 1 September.

US President Donald Trump, speaking to reporters, said that the delay was in part to avoid hitting US shoppers this Christmas.

The USTR's announcement was released minutes after China's Ministry of Commerce said Vice Premier Liu He had conducted a phone call with US trade officials.

The USTR's announcement comes amid growing concerns about a global economic slowdown. Goldman Sachs said on Sunday that fears of the US-China trade war leading to a recession were increasing.

Some analysts said Tuesday's delay does not mean the trade war is over. Elena Duggar, associate managing director at credit rating agency Moody's, said: "This seeming de-escalation in ongoing tensions may be a temporary reprieve... Relations between the world's two largest economies will remain contentious, punctuated with occasional steps towards compromise."

Earlier on Tuesday, China's chief trade negotiators, Vice Premier Liu He and Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, spoke to their US counterparts, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

The Xinhua news agency said that the Chinese officials issued "a solemn protest" against the punitive duties set to come into effect on 1 September. Mr Lighthizer and Mr Liu have scheduled another telephone call in two weeks.

The two sides were due to hold another round of meetings in Washington in September, but the deterioration in relations in the past two weeks cast doubt on whether the talks would take place.

Additional details and lists of the specific product types affected by the announcement are due to be published by USTR later.

Theo BBC