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The Trump administration on Tuesday delayed imposing a 10% import tariff on laptops, cell phones, video game consoles and a wide range of other products made in China, in an abrupt pull-back from a hardline stance on Chinese trade.
The U.S. Trade Representative's Office action was published just minutes after China's Ministry of Commerce said Vice Premier Liu He conducted a phone call with U.S. trade officials.
The delay in the tariffs that had been scheduled to start next month provides some relief to retailers.
Although most stores would have stocked their holiday merchandise before the earlier September deadline, some might have faced the tariffs for fill-in orders late in the holiday shopping season.
"We're doing this for the Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers" President Donald Trump told reporters as he prepared to depart from New Jersey for an event in Pittsburgh.
The decision came less than two weeks after Trump said on Aug.
1 he would impose a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods, blaming China for not following through on promises to buy more American agricultural products.
The administration is still moving forward with 10% tariffs on much of the $300 billion of imports first disclosed in May, publishing a 122-page list of products that will face tariffs beginning Sept.
1, including smartwatches.