WASHINGTON—President Trump is delaying the March 1 imposition of 25 percent tariffs on some $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, pending the results of trade talks with China.
The goods, which have been under a 10 percent tariff order since September, include tires, rubber chemicals, manufactured rubber goods, and synthetic and natural rubber.
Trump ordered the tariffs using his authority under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which allows the president to retaliate against any nation that violates international trade agreements or takes actions that restrict or burden U.S. commerce.
Trump tweeted his decision to delay the higher tariffs Feb. 23. In the tweet, he said the U.S. had "made substantial progress" on many important issues in its trade talks with China, including intellectual property rights, technology transfer, agriculture and currency exchange.
China Trade Deal (and more) in advanced stages. Relationship between our two Countries is very strong. I have therefore agreed to delay U.S. tariff hikes. Let's see what happens?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2019
The president did not set a new date for imposing the higher tariffs.
The Auto Care Association said it was pleased with the delay on the tariff deadline.
"The tariffs on Chinese-produced auto parts have been harmful to our members and their customers, the car owner," said Aaron Lowe, ACA senior vice president, regulatory & government affairs. "It is our hope that many of the legitimate trade issues raised by the administration can be addressed in these negotiations and that the tariffs will not be needed."
The Specialty Equipment Market Association also hailed the president's announcement.
“SEMA welcomes progress in the talks between the U.S. and China to resolve trade disputes,” SEMA President and CEO Christopher Kersting said.
“SEMA supports the administration's efforts to address China's unfair trading practices, but the use of tariffs as a negotiating tool has caused harm to many SEMA member companies,” Kersting said.
The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association did not comment on the delay, but said it continued to monitor the situation.
The National Retail Federation called Trump's decision to avoid a tariff hike a "positive development" and called on the administration to "build on this momentum and reach a resolution that will eliminate uncertainty for American businesses and consumers."
According to data released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland—a campaign backed by NRF—recent tariffs imposed by the administration cost U.S. businesses $2.7 billion in November 2018 alone.
In addition, Trade Partnership Worldwide L.L.C. has published a study that found that increasing the tariffs to 25 percent would result in the loss of nearly 1 million U.S. jobs.