The White House has announced that it will split its next round of tariffs on Chinese imports into two parts. The first part, which will mostly affect farming, livestock, and foodstuffs, will come into effect as previously scheduled on September 1. However, in a bid to perhaps offset a major blow to Chinese industry during the holiday season, a number of items — including electronics such as smartphones and laptops — will not have tariffs applied until December 15.
The Trump administration originally announced its intention to put a 10% levy on $300 billion of Chinese goods in May as part of escalating trade tensions between Washington and Beijing. Today, it decided to remove products related to healthcare, safety, and national security from the list and stagger the application of the tariffs into two waves.
Within the December 15 wave, you’ll find fabric and clothing items, glass and metal wares such as kitchen utensils and serving vessels, home appliances, and other consumer electronics including monitors, video game consoles, audio gear, and cellphones. As many companies will opt to pass along tariffs to consumers, this should take some of the pressure off of electronics manufacturers with new products out this fall — the new iPhone in September and the Pixel 4 in October come to mind — and sales expected to pick up by Black Friday weekend.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative also announced its intention to conduct a further review to exclude more products from the list.