25% tariffs already imposed on $250bn worth of imports from China had been due to increase to 30% on 1 October

25% tariffs already imposed on $250bn worth of imports from China had been due to increase to 30% on 1 October

The ongoing US tariff saga continues, with the latest move seeing President Donald Trump agree to delay the next tariff increase on US$250bn worth of imports from China by two weeks.

Trump took to Twitter to announce the news, stating as a "gesture of good will" the increase scheduled for 1 October will now be pushed back to 15 October, when tariffs will rise from 25% to 30%. Products on the Tranche 3 list, which came into effect on 10 May this year, include around US$3.7bn worth of China-imported apparel materials such as fibres, fabrics and yarn.

The tariff postponement was announced on the same day as China's decision to exempt US anti-cancer drugs and other goods from its retaliatory tariffs, which was welcomed by Trump, according to a report published by Reuters. "China's decision to exempt some US goods was a "big move" by Beijing and a positive gesture before trade negotiators from both countries meet in Washington, Trump told reporters at the White House," the publication stated. 

Separately, new 15% tariffs on most apparel items imported into the US from China came into effect at the beginning of September and are due to be expanded to additional goods on 15 December – covering a total of about $300bn in imports.

Many US brands have been taking steps to mitigate the impact of tariffs, with pre-negotiated vendor concessions bearing the brunt of this.

Meanwhile, ahead of the Tranche 4 tariffs, imports at major US retail container ports reached unusually high numbers in July – and are expected to surge again in the run-up to the December increase.