Next round of US tariffs on Chinese imports to be delayed

US tariffs of 15% on $156 billion of Chinese imports, including cell phones, laptops and toys, will not come into

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Photo: Andy Wong

US tariffs of 15% on $156 billion of Chinese imports, including cell phones, laptops and toys, will not come into effect today.

The tariffs have been delayed after the countries reached a ‘Phase I’ trade agreement on Thursday: the US will halve the tariffs of 15% imposed on September 1 on $120 billion worth goods, but 25% tariffs on $250 billion worth goods will remain. These remain conditional upon China agreeing to buy US soybeans and poultry, and stronger provisions for intellectual property protection.

US President Donald Trump has also hinted at immediately entering ‘Phase II’ negotiations, which are likely to focus on greater access to Chinese financial markets and technology transfers.

For now, the agreement remains conditional upon China keeping up its end of the bargain—Trump enjoys a leverage of the remaining 7.5% tariffs.

The two countries are likely to uphold the agreement. Trump will not want to make domestic consumption more expensive ahead of next year’s presidential election and China has suffered economically from decreased exports and increased producer prices owing to the trade war. A further intermediate development may be negotiating increased protection of technological research and development against cyber theft.

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