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Trump's New Tariff Target List: Flags In, Bibles Out, Frog Meat Delayed

Frog meat is among the many items imported from China that had been facing tariffs in a few weeks, but now the tariffs are delayed until December.
Emmanuelle Bonzami/EyeEm/Getty Images
Frog meat is among the many items imported from China that had been facing tariffs in a few weeks, but now the tariffs are delayed until December.

The stock market soared Tuesday on news that the Trump administration is postponing some tariffs on Chinese imports this fall, sparing popular consumer items such as cellphones and laptops until after the Christmas shopping season. It's only a partial reprieve, though. Other Chinese imports will still be hit with a 10% tariff on Sept. 1, as scheduled. The administration reportedly was guided by which products could most easily be obtained outside China. But there were still some head-scratchers on the tariff lists.

These products are among the $112 billion worth of Chinese imports facing a 10% tariff in less than three weeks:

  • American flags (the U.S. imported more than $6 million worth of American flags from China last year)
  • Ski and snowmobile gloves
  • Nuts in shell
  • Black and white pepper
  • Human hair, unworked (the U.S. imported $615,766 worth last year)
  • An additional $160 billion worth of Chinese imports will be spared a tariff until Dec. 15, to avoid hitting holiday sales. These items include:

  • Prepared or preserved frog meat
  • Ice hockey gloves
  • Shelled nuts
  • Salt and pepper dispensers made of plastic
  • Human hair, fashioned into wigs or false beards
  • Some Chinese imports were dropped from the tariff target list altogether, including:

  • Bibles (China is the No. 1 source of imported Bibles and other prayer books. These were originally targeted for a 10% tariff, but importers' prayers for an exemption were granted.)
  • Radioactive elements, isotopes and compounds
  • Frozen cod, haddock, and salmon fillets
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Corrected: August 29, 2019 at 11:00 PM CDT
    In a previous version of this story, we incorrectly said the U.S. imported more than $6 billion worth of American flags from China. It was actually $6 million worth.
    Alina Selyukh is a business correspondent at NPR, where she follows the path of the retail and tech industries, tracking how America's biggest companies are influencing the way we spend our time, money, and energy.
    Scott Horsley is NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent. He reports on ups and downs in the national economy as well as fault lines between booming and busting communities.
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