Signaling optimism, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 440 points, or 1.72 percent, at 9 a.m. ET on Monday. A number of fashion stocks — including Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., Nike Inc. and Steven Madden Ltd. — were also in the green.
Over the weekend at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day ceasefire on further tariffs in order to continue talks aimed at a compromise between two of the world’s largest economies.
The Trump administration had previously threatened to raise levies from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports starting Jan. 1.
“The relationship is very special — the relationship that I have with President Xi,” Trump remarked before the Saturday evening dinner. “I think that is going to be a very primary reason why we’ll probably end up with getting something that will be good for China and good for the United States.”
The footwear industry hailed the decision. Matt Priest, president and CEO of the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America, wrote in a statement: “Our companies know far too well the negative impact import duties have on American consumers and are grateful that additional tariffs have not been placed on footwear during the 301 process. That being said, we will continue to advocate on behalf of our industry, calling for the end of all 301 duties and, ultimately, the elimination of all $3 billion in footwear duties paid annually.”
The American Apparel & Footwear Association similarly expressed relief. “The resumption of talks between the U.S. and China is encouraging for our industry, as we are dependent on complex global supply chains for our marketplaces around the world,” president and CEO Rick Helfenbein said in a statement. “While we are pleased that American consumers have been protected from additional tariffs on most of our products to date, this announced 90-day reprieve on increased and future tariffs is promising. We hope it will lead to the swift removal of the punitive tariffs already imposed by the administration.”
If the two world leaders are unable to reach a deal after the 90-day period on April 1, the White House announced that it would increase the tariff rate to 25 percent as planned. Trade negotiations will also address China’s alleged forced technology transfers and intellectual property violations.
This morning, Trump tweeted: “My meeting in Argentina with President Xi of China was an extraordinary one. Relations with China have taken a BIG leap forward! Very good things will happen. We are dealing from great strength, but China likewise has much to gain if and when a deal is completed. Level the field!”
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