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As reported by Reuters, US President Trump lashed out at China’s retaliatory tariff targets, accusing the Chinese government of being “vicious” towards US growers.

Key quotes

“U.S. President Donald Trump accused China on Wednesday of targeting American farmers in a “vicious” way and using them as leverage to get concessions on trade a day after the administration announced a $12 billion farm aid package.  Some farmers and farm-state lawmakers, including Trump’s fellow Republicans, ripped the move, saying they would rather trade with no tariffs than receive government help.

China and other top U.S. trade partners zeroed in on American farmers with retaliatory tariffs after the administration imposed duties on Chinese goods as well as steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

Farmers are being targeted since they rely on export markets for agricultural produce and have broadly supported Trump. As the dispute escalates, China and other importers have slapped tariffs on incoming shipments of U.S. soybeans, dairy, meat, produce and liquor.  “China is targeting our farmers, who they know I love & respect, as a way of getting me to continue allowing them to take advantage of the U.S. They are being vicious in what will be their failed attempt. We were being nice – until now!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

The administration on Tuesday unveiled the largest emergency farm aid package since 1998, dipping into a Great Depression-era program that will pay up to $12 billion starting in September to help U.S. farmers weather losses.  Rural and agricultural states supported Trump by wide margins in the 2016 election, and the aid package comes ahead of U.S. mid-term elections in November.”