Trump delays tariff hikes on Chinese goods ahead of talks

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang talks with Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Myron Brilliant during a meeting with a group of U.S. entrepreneurs at Zhongnanhai in Beijing China Sept. 10 2019

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang talks with Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Myron Brilliant during a meeting with a group of U.S. entrepreneurs at Zhongnanhai in Beijing China Sept. 10 2019

Last month, the U.S. said it would increase the tariff rates on all Chinese goods, which included raising a 25% tax on $250bn of Chinese imports to 30%.

He said the delay was requested by "Vice Premier of China, Liu He, and due to the fact that the People's Republic of China will be celebrating their 70th Anniversary".

But in the statement, the commission said it was also considering further exemptions.

The $6.8 billion in overall tariffs paid is a 62% increase from July 2018, driven by $3.5 billion in new tariffs on goods imported from China.

For more than a year, the world's two largest economies have been locked in a high-stakes duel marked by Trump's escalating penalties on Chinese goods and Beijing's retaliatory tariffs.

He said the delay had been requested by China, and also follows a move by Beijing to scrap some USA tariffs.

Against that backdrop, both sides are preparing to return to the negotiating table.

China Vice Premier Lui He and President Donald Trump

China said Thursday it was "making enquiries" about buying American farm products including big-ticket products like pork and soybeans, ahead of high-level trade talks in Washington next month.

Instead, Mr Trump says, that will be delayed until October 15. The data shows that tariffs cost American business and consumers $6.8 billion in July, the highest monthly total in USA history.

State-run Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin said on Twitter that China will announce moves to ease the negative impact of the trade war before the exemption list was announced.

The delay "shows Trump doesn't want to increase tariffs before the trade talks in early October and it creates good conditions", said Tommy Xie, economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.in Singapore.

Reducing America's soaring trade deficit with China has always been a principal aim in Trump's trade battle with Beijing, which he also accuses of stealing American technology and unfairly intervening in markets.

Still, some analysts argue the latest gestures by the U.S. and China have not brought a resolution to their trade row much closer.

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