The US announced on Tuesday that it will postpone the introduction of tariffs on a wide range of Chinese products that was due on September 1st, pending negotiations.
This could delay a 10% tariff on popular goods, including cellphones, laptops, strollers, and toys. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday, agreeing to meet in two weeks.
President Donald Trump is accusing China of failing to buy US farm goods, while his policy adviser Peter Navarro accuses China of currency manipulation.
However, the tariff policy is coming under intense scrutiny. Previous rounds of tariffs targeted component parts that manufacturers such as auto companies bring into the United States to assemble their final products.
The new round of tariffs is expected to target popular consumer products.
According to a study by economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Columbia University, and Princeton University, tariffs have led to soaring prices for US consumers and businesses. The US Tax Foundation calculates that an American family of four estimates that the new 10% tariff hike on Chinese goods worth €286bn could cost every family of four $350 dollars a year.
The former Trump adviser who resigned over tariff policy, Gary Cohn, told the BBC that the trade battle is adversely affecting American manufacturing and offers China a “convenient excuse” to slow down credit putting the blame on US policy.
The Trump administration is not clear on how negotiations with China are proceeding. This week the US President said that a new trade deal with Beijing might not happen until after the 2020 election.