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Trump’s 25% Tech Tariff Boost On China Delayed

Follows meeting with Chinese president; appears to signal shifts on Qualcomm

The Consumer Technology Association is praising President Trump’s decision not to boost his 10 percent tariff on Chinese goods, including tech products, to 25 percent on Jan. 1, though that may only be a 90-day reprieve.

That came after a “working” dinner with Chinese Xi Jinping following the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

“We’re encouraged to see Presidents Trump and Xi working together to reduce trade barriers between the U.S. and China,” said another president. That would be Consumer Technology Association President Gary Shapiro.

Shapiro is no fan of China’s restrictions on U.S. goods, but points out that in the past five months since the 10 percent U.S. tariffs went into effect, China’s response meant the tech industry alone paid $349 million more on imported goods, a 300 percent increase, which he said put several companies out of business and thousands of workers on the unemployment line.

Related: Trump Levying $200 Billion in Tariffs

Following his meeting and what he called one of the biggest deals ever made — the president tends to measure the country’s success in terms of deals — Trump said the would be “holding back on tariffs.

“On January 1, 2019, he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of product at the 10 percent rate, and not raise it to 25 percent,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced following the dinner.

She also said Trump and Xi have agreed to negotiate on ” forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft,” but if they are unable to agree on “structural changes,” the tariff will be increased to 25 percent.”

Related: CTA Says Tech Revenue Jumps But Tariffs Could Kneecap Sales

The President also signaled the Qualcomm deal to could be back on the burner: “President [Xi] has agreed that if the Qualcomm deal that they rejected — which was one of the larger deals of its kind, which China rejected — if that deal came back to him, he would most likely approve it quickly, which is a big thing.”

That appeared to be a reference to Qualcomm buying chip manufacturer NXP, rather than the scuttled deal to buy Broadcom, which Trump blocked back in March..

The President also said the U.S. would be terminating NAFTA in the “not-too-distant-future, which he later said would be within the next six-months.