President Trump agreed to hold steady for 90 days the tariff rate on $200 billion in Chinese goods including amplifiers, car cameras and blind spot detection systems.
The products were expected to see an increase from 10 percent to 25 percent January 1.
In exchange, China agreed to buy from the US a “very substantial” amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products, the White House said in a statement,
The US and China will continue trade talks and if no deal is reached then the tariffs will climb to 25 percent, said the White House, according to reports.
Preliminary reaction from members of the consumer electronics industry included relief.
Manville Smith, VP Marketing at JL Audio, said, “It’s good news, of course. We hope it is a permanent move.”
Tariffs on Chinese imports have already taken a toll on consumer electronics companies, said CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, Gary Shapiro.
The tech industry paid $349 million more on Chinese goods through September, marking a near 200 percent increase over last year.
He said increasing the tariff rate would likely “put several American companies out of business and displace thousands of workers.”
“…We applaud President Trump’s decision not to raise tariffs to 25 percent on Jan. 1, said Shapiro adding, “While China’s restrictive measures should be addressed, tariffs are taxes – and these past five months since the tariffs went into effect hurt U.S. businesses and consumers.”
Even US factories, such as those of JL Audio, AudioControl and ESCORT were hurt because of tariffs placed on Chinese materials and parts used in manufacturing.
Shapiro added, “We look forward to continued progress between the U.S. and China – eliminating the current tariffs and not adding new trade taxes to even more products – so we can keep our economy strong and our job creation growing.”
The postponement of the 25 percent tariff reportedly signals a de-escalation of trade tensions between the US and China.
The first round of tariffs went into effect in July, followed by two successive rounds including a third round September 24.