Muslim Times(Web Desk) – US President Donald Trump has accused China of seeking to influence upcoming American elections by targeting his political support base in the escalating trade war between the two countries.
“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 tweeted on Tuesday.
“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,” he added. “There will be great and fast economic retaliation against China if our farmers, ranchers and/or industrial workers are targeted!”
The US president made the comments a day after he targeted another US$200 billion in Chinese imports with tariffs starting next week, drawing a strong reaction from Beijing.
“In order to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and the global free trade order, China has no choice but to take countermeasures in lockstep,” the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, without elaborating on what specific actions it would adopt in response.
“The United States insists on increasing tariffs, bringing new uncertainties to bilateral trade negotiations,” the ministry emphasized, adding, “China hopes the United States would recognize the negative consequences of its actions, and take convincing steps to correct its behavior in a timely manner.”
The Trump administration imposed 10 percent tariffs on nearly US$200 billion worth of Chinese products — to take effect as of September 24 — and threatened duties on about US$267 billion more if Beijing took retaliatory measures.
The new tariffs, part of the Trump administration’s growing trade war with China, will be applied to more than 1,000 imported Chinese products, the Washington Post reported Sunday, citing two people briefed on the decision.
The tariffs could reach 25 percent for some products although Trump has ordered his team to start with a 10 percent increase.
If true, Trump’s import penalties would go on to include over half of America’s roughly US$500 billion imports from China.
Washington recently imposed tariffs on US$50 billion worth of imports from China, mostly equipment and material used by manufacturers.
Trump said earlier this month that he was ready to put tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports if Beijing did not back down and took steps to reduce its US$335 billion bilateral trade surplus with the US.