Beijing: Farmers in the US are paying the price President Donald Trump’s trade tactics, China said on Thursday.
Trump posted a tweet on Wednesday alleging that China was attacking the US agricultural sector.
“US farmers are paying for the bullying of their government,” Efe quoted China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang as saying at a press conference on Thursday.
Geng’s statement came after Trump had accused Beijing on Wednesday of hurting US farmers for imposing tariffs on US agricultural products – particularly soybeans – worth $34 billion.
These measures were in response to the first set of tariffs imposed by Trump on Chinese imports – especially technological goods – for the same amount.
Geng reminded that in June 2017 the two sides reached an agreement regarding beef exports from the US to China, and in May this year, the two countries held significant talks in Washington on trade issues with China committing to increasing agricultural imports.
“These agreements could have gone well; regrettably it didn’t turn out that well because of US unilateralism and trade protectionism. (The US) is bent on igniting a trade war with China,” Geng said.
He added that China has been a major buyer of US agricultural products for many years and bilateral cooperation in agriculture had expanded, bringing tangible benefits to both sides.
Trump’s allegations came a day after the US Department of Agriculture announced a plan worth $12 billion to compensate farmers affected by Chinese tariffs, confirming the adverse effect of the trade war for producers.
“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 US. They are being vicious in what will be their failed attempt. We were being nice – until now! China made $517 Billion on us last year,” Trump tweeted.