President Trump once boasted he was “tariff man” — but now wants to play Santa Claus.
Christmas came early this year when Trump administration trade officials said they would delay imposing tariffs on a series of popular consumer goods — just in time for the holidays.
Costly tariffs that were to be imposed on cellphones, laptops, toys and other hot gift items starting Sept. 1, will now take hold on Dec. 15 instead, according to the announcement by the office of the US Trade Representative.
The delay gives retailers time to stock up ahead of the holidays — and delay passing on any price increases to consumers until 2020.
Wall Street rejoiced by sending shares of iPhone maker Apple up 4.2 percent, making it the biggest gainer on the Dow. Gadget seller Best Buy’s shares shot up 6.5 percent as other tech toys, including video game consoles, were added to the delayed list.
The Trump administration also made allowances for some popular winter items like gloves, sweaters and outerwear — helping boost Kohl’s — up 2.9 percent — and Walmart, up 2.1 percent. Also spared were Christmas lights and ornaments, according to the Trade Representative’s new Dec. 15 tariff list.
“We’re doing this for the Christmas season,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday. “Just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on US customers.”
The reprieve sent the Dow Jones industrial average soaring more than 500 points soon after the announcement was made, later retreating slightly to close up 372.54 points, at 26,279.91. The S&P 500 index and Nasdaq composite index gained 1.5 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively.
The delay follows a tumultuous two weeks of trading spurred by Trump’s threat to impose 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion worth of goods from China starting Sept. 1.
Tech companies and retailers, who rely on overseas goods and services, took the brunt of the pain as the tariffs would have hurt both the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons.
“Just in case [tariffs] might have an impact on people, what we’ve done is we’ve delayed it, so that they won’t be relevant to the Christmas shopping season,” Trump said.
Of course, Trump didn’t dole out presents to all manufacturers by leaving certain curious items, like skis and golf equipment, on the Sept. 1 tariff list. Also remaining on the “naughty” list are Apple’s popular AirPods, Apple Watch and HomePod.
The tariff delay could pack a double dose of good news for the holiday season if it boosts consumer confidence, Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial, told The Post.
But there was also skepticism about how long the good tidings would last — and what it would mean for future trade negotiations.
“I’m not sure this takes us out of the woods,” Donald Selkin, chief market strategist at Newbridge Securities, told The Post of the one-day market rally.
“There’s a sense the president blinked,” added Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital Management about the sudden halt to threatened tariffs on China.