U.S. President Donald Trump attacked China on Wednesday for targeting American farm products with new tariffs in what he said would be a failed effort to gain a trade advantage over the United States.
Beijng recently imposed new tariffs on an array of American farm produce, including soy beans, corn, wheat, cotton, rice, sorghum, beef, pork, poultry, fish, dairy products, nuts and vegetables.
It is part of a tit-for-tat tariff battle that Trump is waging with China in an effort to get Beijing to further open up its markets and end what the U.S. views as onerous requirements that American companies hand over proprietary technology information in order to do business in China.
The U.S. has chronically run a trade deficit with China, although Trump overstated the 2017 figure as $517 billion. The U.S. government says the deficit actually was $375.6 billion.
With the new tariffs in China, some U.S. farmers, many of them among Trump's biggest political supporters in the 2016 election, have voiced their dismay at declining sales.
With the agricultural financial fallout occurring less than four months before nationwide congressional elections in November, the Trump administration said Tuesday it would provide up to $12 billion in aid to farmers who have been hurt by the president's tariff policies. He has said the tariffs he has imposed are needed to force foreign governments to improve their trade deals with the U.S.
White House officials contend the tariffs inflict some necessary minor, domestic short-term pain in order to achieve long-term large gains for the U.S. economy.
However, several lawmakers, including farm-state Republicans, attacked Trump's compensation plan for U.S. farmers.
“Our farmers want trade, not aid,” declared Congressman Kevin Cramer, a Republican from North Dakota, a Midwestern state where agriculture alone accounts for one-fourth of the revenue base.
Source : VOA