Mnuchin says China tariffs won’t go up next week

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that tariffs slated to hit imports of Chinese goods next week will not go into effect. 

The announcement came as President Donald Trump said there is a “very substantial phase one deal” between the two superpowers after high level talks this week.

The U.S. had previously threatened to increase duties on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods from 25% to 30% on Tuesday.

Friday’s announcement does not have any bearing on a separate tariff hike set to kick in on Dec. 15, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said. Those tariffs will apply at a 15% rate to $160 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Tariffs put in place in September on a wide range of consumer items will remain in place. Those tariffs, of 15%, apply to about $112 billion worth of Chinese goods. 

The president and Mnuchin delivered the news from the Oval Office alongside Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, sending the major indexes to their session highs. Stocks pulled back after the president left open the possibility of future tariffs. 

As part of the deal, China agreed to purchase between $40 and $50 billion in U.S. agricultural goods. Further steps will be reached in phases, the president said. 

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