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US Delays Tariff Increase on China

(Image credit: Gil C/Shutterstock)

U.S. President Donald Trump has delayed an increase on tariffs affecting Chinese goods following what he characterized as “very productive talks” between the countries.

The increase, which was set to go into effect on March 1, would have raised the tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent. 

It's been hard to predict how these tariffs would affect tech companies and their customers. The list of affected product categories kept changing, and the tariffs were part of a larger conflict between the U.S. and China, which has also expanded to affect the storage industry and other hardware vendors

"I am pleased to report that the US has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues," he said in a tweet Sunday. 

"As a result of these very productive talks, I will be delaying the US increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1. Assuming both sides make additional progress, we will be planning a Summit for President Xi {Jinping} and myself, at Mar-a-Lago, to conclude an agreement. A very good weekend for U.S. & China!" he said in a followup tweet posted 10 minutes later. 

It's not clear if the tariff increase was indefinitely delayed or effectively canceled. Nor do we know if Trump plans to roll back the original tariffs or simply to amend them following his weekend getaway (at his own resort) with Jinping. All of which means that companies affected by these tariffs have very little guidance.

Still, provided the talks go as well as Trump predicted in his tweets, this could be welcome news for U.S. tech companies. Even the ones that have thrived during this period have said they'd much prefer it if the U.S. and China would put their differences aside. Hopefully we'll know more sooner than later.