President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused China of seeking to influence upcoming US elections by taking aim at his political support base in the countries’ escalating 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 tweeted.
Trump’s comments came a day after he targeted another $200 billion in Chinese imports with tariffs starting next week, drawing an immediate vow of retaliation from Beijing.
The latest round of products targeted means that Trump has taken aim at half of all the goods the US imports from China, instantly raising the prices for businesses and consumers that rely on them.
He also threatened to impose taxes on virtually all of the remaining goods imported from China, amounting to $267 billion a year if China retaliates rather than changing its trade policies.
Beijing has so far struck back dollar-for-dollar to each escalation of the trade dispute but it is running out of US goods to hit, and on Tuesday announced new duties on $60 billion in products.