By Lenore Fedow
New York—Tariffs on select consumer goods will be delayed until Dec. 15, the U.S. Trade Representative office announced Tuesday, but few jewelry-related goods made the cut.

The list of jewelry items exempt for now includes natural pearl articles, jewelry made with precious or semiprecious stones not valued over $40 per piece, certain components of toy jewelry, and select wrist watch movements and straps.

Diamonds, pearls, precious stones, lab-grown precious stones and silver jewelry remain on the list of products subject to tariffs as of Sept. 1.

Certain clothing, footwear, toys and electronics have been given a reprieve so as not to jeopardize the holiday shopping season, President Donald Trump said earlier this week.

“We’re doing this for the Christmas season,” he told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “Just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers.”

Trump announced earlier this month that the United States would impose a 10 percent tariff on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese imports starting in September.

The 10 percent tariff is in addition to the 25 percent tariff levied on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods previously imposed.

“While we appreciate the delay of some of the tariffs, this clearly shows that the administration recognizes that tariffs are taxes paid by Americans,” Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, an organization formed to push back against tariffs, said in a statement released Tuesday following Trump’s announcement.

“It appears the administration understands that taxes on everyday products such as toys, clothes and electronics would be politically unpopular and hurt those who can least afford it.”

The group sent a letter to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in June to highlight the potential negative impacts of the tariffs.

The letter was signed by 661 companies, including major jewelry sellers like Macy’s, Walmart, J.C. Penney and Costco, as well as retail organizations.

Jewelry-related organizations, such as the Precious Metals Association of North America and the Accessories Council as well as JTV and Dallas-based manufacturer Prime Art and Jewel, signed the letter too and sent letters of their own detailing how tariffs would impact their businesses.

The above organizations noted there are problems that need to be addressed in the U.S.-China trade relationship, but highlighted the important role China and its products play in their operations.

“Chinese jewelry and raw material suppliers have been valued and necessary partners in developing a robust and growing U.S. jewelry industry,” wrote JTV CEO Timothy D. Matthews.

The U.S. government collected $63 billion in tariffs over the last 12 months as of June 30, according to data from the U.S. Treasury.

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