US delays China tariff hike to December

The US government says it will delay a planned 10-percent tariff increase on some Chinese products to mid-December.

The Office of the US Trade Representative announced on Tuesday that the tariff will be delayed to December 15 for items including cellphones, laptop computers and certain toys.

Washington had said it would slap the additional tariff on 300 billion dollars' worth of Chinese products from September 1. They included many daily necessities.

The decision triggered protests from business operators who said the higher tariff would have a significant impact on US companies and consumers.

The Chinese government revealed that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He talked over the phone with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday.

Details of their talks are not available. But they are believed to have discussed expanding China's imports of US agricultural products, as well as easing the US restrictions on Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

Beijing says officials of the two countries will hold phone talks again later this month.

Observers are keeping an eye on whether the two countries can narrow the gap on trade issues before the US imposes the additional tariff.