WASHINGTON: The United States is delaying until December 15 imposition of new 10 per cent tariffs on Chinese electronics, but going ahead with new duties starting Sept 1 on $300 billion in Chinese goods, the government announced on Tuesday.

As Washington and Beijing work to resolve the escalating trade war, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer spoke with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He early Tuesday and has another call planned in two weeks, a USTR official told AFP.

The latest round of tariffs, which President Donald Trump announced on August 1, mean all Chinese imports into the United States would be subject to additional duties.

The sides were due to hold another round of meetings in Washington in September, but the deterioration in relations in the past two weeks cast doubt on whether the negotiations would take place.

And Trump accused Beijing of continuing to renege on its commitment to buy US agricultural goods.

“As usual, China said they were going to be buying ‘big’ from our great American Farmers. So far they have not done what they said. Maybe this will be different!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

USTR said in a statement it was going ahead with the tariffs next month, but would delay the start for cell phones, laptops, computer monitors, video game consoles and some toys, footwear and clothing.

In addition, “certain products are being removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security and other factors and will not face additional tariffs of 10 percent.”

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2019