Trump delays some tariffs fearing consumer impact

World Today

U.S. President Donald Trump is pulling back from some pending tariffs ahead of the holiday shopping season.

Earlier this month, Trump announced he would place an additional 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports- essentially all remaining non-tariffed goods from China.

Those tariffs were slated to go into effect Sept. 1, but now Trump is postponing until Dec. 15 tariffs on items including: Cell phones, laptops, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors as well as some shoes and clothing.

“We’re doing this for Christmas season just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers but so far they have virtually none,” Said U.S. President Donald Trump

Those are the kind of items many American families hope to put under the Christmas tree.

“Most of the tariffs up to now have been affecting business to business products, not business to consumer products. And even though that has increased cost for American companies they have been able to mitigate those costs instead of passing them on to consumers. But once tariffs are on absolutely everything that we import from China, which is what will be the case as of Dec. 15, and once they are covering consumer goods explicitly, it’s not going to be possible for companies to just keep absorbing all of the cost of that so this will be coming out of American pockets,” said Anna Ashton, Director of Business Advisory Services at the U.S.-China Business Council.

Economists said more tariffs will mean higher consumer prices, lower retail profits and eventually fewer U.S. jobs. Though he is delaying some of the new tariffs, President Trump has said he may eventually raise tariffs on this latest batch of imports to as high as 25%.

“We do have some data that says that if this latest round of tariffs on 300 billion were to be set at 25% that it would increase the average American household cost by $2000 a year,” said Ashton.

On Wednesday, the U.S. commerce secretary said the move by Trump to delay some tariffs was strictly to help U.S. consumers, adding that no concessions were made from Beijing in exchange for the delay.