August 24, 2019
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US to delay imposing tariffs on some products from China

 US President Donald Trump (C-L, first row) greets Chinese President Xi Jinping (C-R) on June 28, 2019, during the group photo of leaders attending the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. EPA-EFE FILE/Lukas Coch

US President Donald Trump (C-L, first row) greets Chinese President Xi Jinping (C-R) on June 28, 2019, during the group photo of leaders attending the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. EPA-EFE FILE/Lukas Coch

Washington, Aug 13 (efe-epa).- The US government said Tuesday it would hold off on imposing 10 percent tariffs on certain products imported from China until December.

"It was determined that the tariff should be delayed to December 15 for certain articles," the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said in a statement.

The tariffs were originally scheduled to take effect on Sept. 1.

The USTR also said that some products would no longer be subjected to tariffs.

"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," the USTR said.

Some products, however, will still be subject to the higher tariffs starting on Sept. 1, but the USTR did not identify them.

The USTR posted lists on its website on Tuesday of products subject to tariffs effective Sept. 1 and Dec. 15.

The USTR said it "will publish in the Federal Register as soon as possible additional details and lists of the tariff lines affected by this announcement."

In late July, a team led by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin negotiated in Shanghai with a high-level Chinese delegation headed by Vice Premier Liu He.

On Aug. 1, President Donald Trump announced a new set of tariffs on goods from China effective Sept. 1 after the latest round of trade talks with the Asian nation failed to yield a deal.

"Our representatives have just returned from China where they had constructive talks having to do with a future Trade Deal. We thought we had a deal with China three months ago, but sadly, China decided to re-negotiate the deal prior to signing," Trump said on Twitter.

On Aug. 6, China responded to Trump's tariff announcement, saying that state-owned companies had halted purchases of agricultural goods from the United States.

The Commerce Ministry said in a statement that Washington's decision to slap additional tariffs on Chinese products effective Sept. 1 was a "grave violation" of agreements reached by Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at their June 29 meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

The ministry said it would not rule out tariffs on newly purchased agricultural goods after Aug. 3.

The world's two largest economic powers have been engaged in a trade war for more than 18 months, leveling allegations at each other and slapping tariffs on imports.

In May, Trump increased from 10 percent to 25 percent a tariff on Chinese imports worth $200 billion. China retaliated by slapping tariffs on US imports worth $60 billion.

Trump later threatened to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on another $325 billion of Chinese imports, causing concern in financial markets and the business community due to the possible effect on consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of US economic activity.

In Osaka, Trump and Xi agreed to a truce in the trade war, which is rooted in Washington's unhappiness over China's massive trade surpluses with the United States.

In 2018, the United States posted a trade deficit of $419 billion with China due, largely, to the fact that US exports to Asia's largest economy totaled just $120 billion, while American imports from China reached $540 billion.

During the first five months of 2019, the US trade deficit with China was $137 billion.

In recent days, Trump has expressed unhappiness with the Chinese government's decision to devalue the yuan, pushing the currency's exchange rate against the dollar to a key level not seen since 2008. EFE

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