US officials announced mobile phones will not be included in a round of tariffs on Chinese imports set to go into effect on 1 September, granting a temporary reprieve to Apple and other technology companies.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative stated tariffs on mobile phones, laptops, games consoles, computer monitors and certain toys will be delayed until 15 December. It added a number of other unspecified products will be removed from the tariff list altogether for health, safety and national security reasons.
However, the US still plans to apply a 10 per cent tariff on $300 billion worth of other Chinese goods starting 1 September, including smart watches, fitness trackers and smart speakers.
In a video posted by CNBC, President Donald Trump explained: “We’re doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on US customers.”
The fourth calendar quarter is typically strong for technology companies.
Apple, which has been struggling to revive sales of its iPhone, was among a number of companies which urged the administration to reconsider tariffs on technology goods from China.