Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross: Tariff delays were not a trade 'quid pro quo' with China

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Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross testifies during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the census on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017.

Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC on Wednesday that the Trump administration’s decision to delay upcoming tariffs on certain items, including smartphones, was not a trade concession to China but to help American consumers.

U.S. trade officials announced Tuesday that certain items were being excluded from President Donald Trump’s upcoming 10% tariffs on the $300 billion of Chinese imports not already taxed. Other items subject to additional tariffs are being delayed until mid-December, instead of the original Sept. 1 start date.

Chinese officials said on Tuesday they had a trade call with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. China also said it agreed to another call in two weeks ahead of talks next month.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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