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(UPDATED, Aug. 14) Sparking a 400-point rally in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the United States Trade Representative said Aug. 13 the U.S. will delay tariffs on some imports from China until Dec. 15.

The three-month delay from the previous effective date of Sept. 1 will apply to a 21-page list of Chinese products, including live mushroom spawn, nuts, selected vegetables, cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing, according to a news release.

Tom Nassif, president and CEO of Western Growers, welcomed the Trump administration's move to reduce trade tension with China.

"While news accounts have documented the impact of this conflict on our agricultural friends in the Midwest, make no mistake this trade conflict is having a significant and negative impact on the produce sector," Nassif said in a statement. "In particular, the tree nut industry and the fruit orchards within our membership are seeing lower demand and hence lower prices. "

Nassif said Western Growers invites "any efforts by our government to work with the Chinese to resolve trade disputes.” 

One mushroom industry contact said the delay in tariffs won't mean much to U.S. growers.

“U.S. mushroom growers are facing increased production costs in the industry due to climate volatility, continued labor issues, changes in consumer preferences, and transportation expenses," Lori Harrison, director of communications tor the American Mushroom Institute, said in an email.  “The proposed 10% tariff increase on Chinese import logs will not have a substantial impact on U.S. mushroom growers.” 

The USTR said certain products from China are being removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security and other factors and will not face additional tariffs of 10%.

In an ongoing trade war with China, President Trump said Aug. 1 that the U.S. would impose an additional tariff of 10% on approximately $300 billion of Chinese imports. 

In mid-May, the USTR published a list of products imported from China that would be potentially subject to an additional 10% tariff. The new tariff will still go into effect on Sept. 1 for a 122-page list of items published on the USTR website on the USTR website.

CNBC reported that U.S. and Chinese officials held phone conversations Aug. 13 and will talk again within two weeks to attempt to resolve the long-running trade dispute.

 

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