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Duties on Chinese goods postponed until December



It looks like the trade war with China won’t be taking a bite out of your Christmas budget.

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it would wait until Dec. 15 to impose tariffs on Chinese goods that were supposed to go into effect in September. Other items were removed from the tariff list due to health, safety and national security concerns.

Many of the items on the tariff list are popular holiday gifts. That’s a relief to retailers, which would either eat the added costs or pass them onto shoppers – neither a palatable outcome.

It also means Americans won’t see higher, tariff-inflated prices during their holiday shopping. Those who are traditionally last-minute holiday shoppers may want to skip procrastinating this year, though, and wrap up the shopping before the Dec. 15 deadline.

“I think the president wanted to avoid being the Grinch who stole Christmas,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “These delayed tariff hikes would have landed squarely on American consumers.”

What’s affected by the tariff delay

The 21-page list of items subject to the delay includes many common holiday wishlist gifts, like cellphones, laptops, video game consoles, toys, shoes and clothing. With a delayed hike, Americans are poised to save big on some products.

“We’re doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers. So far they’ve had virtually none,” President Donald Trump said in New Jersey before boarding Air Force One for an event in Pennsylvania.

Retail tourists? Why do we Chinese love coming to America? Shhh! It’s the shopping.

Markets on the move! Dow, stocks surge after US delays China tariffs on cellphones, video games computers

For instance, the price of an Apple iPhone would be $75 to $100 higher with the tariffs, Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives estimated recently. That would be bad timing for the company, which is expected to release three new editions of the iPhone in September, models with extra power and improved battery performance.

Another popular holiday gift, video game systems, will also dodge the price uptick until Dec. 15. Earlier this summer, hardware makers Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony asked the Trump administration to remove video game consoles from the list of products to be hit with tariffs.

Their concerns: The import tariff could raise the price of a game system enough to price out 1 in 4 U.S. families this holiday season, the companies said.

Other tariffs coming soon

So far, “consumers had been largely insulated from the price increases from the trade war,” says Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. financial economist at Oxford Economics.

The tensions have had other ill side effects, though.

The manufacturing industry is teetering on a recession. U.S. farmers are facing mounting losses. And stocks had their worst rout of the year after Trump this month vowed to enact another 10% tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods starting Sept. 1.

That list runs 122 pages and includes items that were not subject to earlier tariffs such as clothes, jewelry, linens, sunglasses, watches, guns, clothing and sports equipment.

That set of tariffs will hit Americans’ pocketbooks, too.

Contributing: USA TODAY business writer Kelly Tyko and Washington correspondent John Fritze. 

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Frustrated with climate talks, activists dump manure outside Madrid summit By Reuters




By Elena Rodriguez

MADRID (Reuters) – Green activists dumped horse manure and staged a mock hanging outside the venue of a U.N. climate summit in Madrid on Saturday, airing their frustration at the failure of world leaders to take meaningful action against global warming.

Led by grassroots group Extinction Rebellion, the actions were timed to coincide with the closing of the COP25 summit, where negotiators have been unable to agree on how to implement the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

“Just like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic, this COP’s fiddling of carbon accounting and negotiating of Article 6 is not commensurate to the planetary emergency we face,” Extinction Rebellion said in a statement.

Twelve members of the group stood on melting blocks of ice, nooses drawn tight around their necks to symbolize the 12 months remaining until the next summit, when the Paris deal enters a make-or-break implementation phase.

Attached to the pile of manure was a short message to leaders saying “the horseshit stops here.” 

In contrast to a protest held last weekend, in which hundreds of demonstrators blocked one of Madrid’s central shopping streets for a mass disco-dance, the mood at the gathering was subdued.

“Even if they reach an agreement it’s still not enough. This is the 25th COP they’ve had and nothing has really changed,” protester Emma Deane told Reuters from her perch atop an ice block, holding her young daughter in her arms.

“She’s going to grow up in a world where there’s no food on the shelves and that breaks my heart.”

Still, Extinction Rebellion spokesman Ronan McNern stressed the importance of humor in the face of the climate crisis.

“Out of shit comes the best roses. We hope that the international community comes together to create a beautiful future,” McNern said.

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