Trump says China is 'actively trying to impact and change our election' by targeting US farmers in the trade war

Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty ImagesChinese President Xi Jinping greets U.S. President Donald Trump at a welcoming ceremony November 9, 2017 in Beijing, China.
  • President Donald Trump accused China of playing politics by hitting US agricultural goods with tariffs as part of the trade war.
  • Trump claimed China was focusing on farmers because of “their loyalty to” him and accused China of trying to influence the US midterm elections.
  • Many areas hit hardest by the trade war voted for Trump in 2016.
  • The tweets come the day after Trump hit another $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods with a 10% tariff.
  • Trump also threatened more action against China if they retaliated.
  • On Tuesday, China retaliated.

President Donald Trump accused China of politically motivated attacks focused on US farmers in the countries’ trade war in an attempt to sway the midterm elections.

In a tweet Tuesday, Trump said China’s decision to hit US agricultural exports with tariffs was designed to alienate possible GOP voters prior to the elections in November. Analyses have shown that the areas hardest hit by the retaliatory tariffs predominately voted for Trump in 2016.

But Trump was confident that these voters would not be swayed by the trade war.

“China has openly stated that they are actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me,” Trump said. “What China does not understand is that these people are great patriots and fully understand that China has been taking advantage of the United States on Trade for many years. They also know that I am the one that knows how to stop it.”

Prices for many key US agricultural products have taken a dive since the start of the US-China trade war as Chinese importers look to other countries for their supply. This in turn has hurt many small American farmers and led to a campaign from farm lobby groups against Trump’s tariffs.

The tweets come the day after Trump announced that the US would impose an additional 10% tariff on roughly $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods, ranging from handbags to fish to chemicals. The new tariffs come in addition to the duties on $US50 billion worth of Chinese goods already in place.

Read more:
Trump slams China with tariffs on $US200 billion worth of goods, taking trade war to the next level

Trump’s move led to retaliation from China. Beijing said the country will impose tariffs of 5% or 10% on $US60 billion worth of American goods, bringing the total amount of US exports to China subject tariffs up to at least 85% of the total value.

Trump also warned the Chinese that more trade attacks could be on the way.

“There will be great and fast economic retaliation against China if our farmers, ranchers and/or industrial workers are targeted!” Trump said.

As part of the statement announcing the tariffs on Monday, Trump threatened a third round of tariffs on another $US267 billion worth of Chinese goods if Beijing hit back with duties. That would mean all Chinese imports to the US would be subject to tariffs.

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