President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he was delaying some tariffs on Chinese imports before the Christmas season to limit their potential impact on holiday shopping.
The Trump administration announced hours earlier that it would be delayed by December 15 from tariffs originally scheduled to take effect on September 1.
"We do this for the Christmas season," Trump told reporters on the airport road around noon Tuesday. "Just in case some of the tariffs would affect US customers."
"But so far they have been gone," the president added. "But just in case they can affect people, what we did is we slowed it down so that they were not related to the Christmas shopping market."
Recognizing that tariffs can hurt on the holiday, sales mark a change for Trump, a self-described "tariff man" who has long claimed that import taxes are helping the United States while putting pressure on China.
The US Sales Representative stated that the delay would apply to a wide variety of goods, including some electronics such as cell phones, laptops and video games.
A number of Christmas related products also appeared on the delay list. These include decorations for "Christmas celebrations, Christmas scenes and figures", lights and decorations for Christmas trees.
Other items for a specific holiday do not appear to be on the delayed list.
Trump announced in early August that it would abolish 10% tariffs on other $ 300 billion worth of Chinese goods that have so far avoided import duties. The White House has already imposed tariffs on imports of $ 250 billion from China.
China has already rejected US $ 110 billion in import reimbursement tariffs; they responded to the latest tariff threat by canceling all purchases of agricultural products in the US.
The White House's move to recede on a firm and fast date for new tariffs came as a sigh of relief for the markets they have, increasingly amidst the escalating trade war between Beijing and Washington.
The rising shares of technology companies, technical distributors and other retailers have raised the market higher. Apple shares were trading nearly 5% higher in the news and Best Buy jumping over 8%. Chipstocks also moved out of the correction territory, with the Semiconductor ETF down 8% since its highest in July.
Trump has long voiced full support for tariffs. He regularly claims that China, not the US, bears the brunt of the duties and says the US takes "billions" from China.
Most economists are quick to point out that American importers are the ones who pay taxes directly, though tariffs can hurt China by making their goods more expensive to buy from Americans.
Trump's comments on Tuesday came just before he traveled from the New Jersey Golf Resort to Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals, where he would make observations about US energy and production.