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US sets new March 2 date for China tariff increases amid talks

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The U.S. Trade Representative’s office on Friday officially changed the scheduled date of a tariff rate increase on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 12:01 a.m. EST (0501 GMT) on March 2, 2019 as the United States and China pursue talks on trade and intellectual property.

The change was made in a Federal Register filing from a previously scheduled effective date of Jan. 1, 2019 for the increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

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The notice does not affect the 25 percent tariff rate already in place on $50 billion worth of Chinese technology items, including semiconductors, printed circuit boards and other electronic components, machinery and vehicles.

The filing was added to documents associated with USTR’s “Section 301” investigation into China’s intellectual property practices, which has been the basis of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods that led to tit-for-tat retaliation from Beijing.

It attributed the change to new U.S.-Chinese engagement “with the goal of obtaining the elimination of the acts, policies, and practices covered in the investigation” following a Dec. 1 meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires.

The USTR statement did not specify any expected outcomes of the negotiation. It made reference to goals set forth in a statement issued by the White House to negotiate over a 90-day period structural changes by China on forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and theft, services and agriculture.

USTR’s notice made no mention of China’s steps this week to resume suspended purchases of U.S. soybeans or suspend a punitive 25 percent tariff on American-made vehicles and auto parts.

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The official delay of the tariff rate increase was of little comfort to the U.S. tech sector.

The Consumer Technology Association said on Friday that U.S. tariffs on technology-related imports from China were now costing $1 billion per month, with duties on fifth-generation mobile technology goods reaching $122 million in October, compared with $65,000 a year earlier.

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‘Jury tampering’: Internet explodes after WH threatens that senators’ heads ‘will be on a pike’ if they vote to convict

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The news was so shocking some thought it was fake. But as CBS News reports, the White House is threatening Republican Senators to not vote to convict President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial, or else.

That "or else" was revealed by CBS News' Chief Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes, who reports, "One Trump confidant tells CBS News that GOP senators have been warned: 'Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.'"

The revelation comes at the 1:17 mark:

In opening statements, House managers examined the debunked conspiracy theories invoked by Pres. Trump.

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The View’s Meghan McCain responds to GOP senator’s smear of impeachment witness: What about Hillary Clinton?

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"The View" co-host Meghan McCain changed the subject from Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to Hillary Clinton during a discussion of the impeachment trial.

Guest host Ana Navarro took exception to Blackburn's attacks on Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified against President Donald Trump in the impeachment inquiry, after House managers cited his allegations against the president and some of his top officials.

"Yesterday Sen. Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee spent hours, tweeted out and spent hours on TV attacking Vindman, Alexander Vindman, questioned his patriotism," Navarro said. "This is a guy who has a Purple Heart because of the injuries he received in the Iraq War, he still has shrapnel in his body. His parents are Soviet Jews who fled communism. I can't explain how angry I am about that."

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Fox News’ coverage of Trump’s impeachment trial has been an embarrassing joke

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When Rep. Hakeem Jeffries addressed the U.S. Senate on Thursday night as part of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, there was a crucial difference between how Jeffries’ speech was covered on different cable news outlets: while CNN and MSNBC broadcast the speech, Fox News muted the speech while its pundits offered pro-Trump talking points. CNN and MSNBC allowed viewers to hear Jeffries making a compelling case for removing Trump from office; Fox News let viewers see Jeffries but not hear him. And that Trump-friendly way of covering the trial is the subject of an article journalist Aaron Rupar wrote for Vox this week.

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