US tariffs on laptops and phones pushed out until December

Tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports split into two tranches.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

The Trump administration has laid out plans to split the introduction of tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports that were previously flagged by the Unites States President earlier this month.

The tariffs were set to be introduced on September 1, however, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) divided the introduction into two parts on Tuesday.

Products set to be hit with tariffs in December include cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing, the USTR said.

Without explicitly naming them, the USTR said certain products were removed from the tariff list due to "health, safety, national security and other factors".

The products that will see US consumers pay an extra 10% range from "machines for the reception, conversion and transmission or regeneration of voice, images or other data" to "live purebred breeding horses" and "live asses".

See also: US-China tariffs hit Taiwanese tech industry

In May, the US introduced a 25% tariff on $250 billion worth of Chinese products.

The process of putting tariffs in place kicked off in March last year, with Trump stating at the time that an investigation by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had concluded China was using foreign ownership restrictions to require technology transfers from US companies to Chinese organisations, as well as conducting espionage to acquire intellectual property and confidential business information.

By June last year, the US and China had both levied tit-for-tat tariffs on $34 billion worth of goods. Two months later, the US also began collecting a 25% import duty on 279 Chinese goods valued at $16 billion, composed mostly of industrial products including steam turbines and iron girders.

Earlier this month, the US accused China of being a currency manipulator.

Trump has promised to retaliate to the introduction of a French law that would levy a 3% tax on tech companies that make €750 million globally and €25 million in France from public advertising and digital intermediary services to consumers. Online businesses, digital services providers, in addition to companies that provide communication, payment, or financial services are exempt from the 3% tax.

In effect, the Bill targets the GAFA companies of Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon. 

"If anybody taxes them, it should be their home Country, the USA," Trump tweeted at the time.

"We will announce a substantial reciprocal action on Macron's foolishness shortly." 

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