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China Took Aim At Trump’s Beloved Farmers, Now He’s Done Playing Nice

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter

President Donald Trump lashed out at China Wednesday for targeting American farmers in the ongoing trade war, warning that the U.S. will no longer be playing nice.

“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.,” Trump said, accusing Beijing of targeting a key constituency for the president. “They are being vicious in what will be their failed attempt. We were being nice – until now!” (RELATED: Leaked Document Reveals How China Sees The Trade War And, More Importantly, How It Plans To Fight It)

He warned that ultimately China will fail, suggesting that he expects the U.S. will emerge victorious in the ongoing trade war.

The president also called out his critics, arguing that he is unwilling to put a hold on tariffs and let American workers get ripped off.

The U.S. and China are locked in an escalating trade war that began with U.S. tariffs on foreign-made steel and aluminum, prompting China to target American exports with their own tariffs, and escalated with punitive U.S. tariffs on tens of billions of dollars worth of Chinese exports in response to Chinese economic aggression, which resulted in reciprocal tariffs from Beijing.

The president said earlier in July that he is ready to place tariffs on all $500 billion worth of Chinese exports to the U.S. “I’m not doing this for politics, I’m doing this to do the right thing for our country. We have been ripped off by China for a long time,” Trump told CNBC’s Joe Kernen in a “Squawk Box” interview. (RELATED: Trump’s Ready To Hit China With Crushing Tariffs On $500 Billion Worth Of Exports)

As the trade war heats up, China is increasingly targeting American agricultural products, a key export, and farmers are already feeling the pressure.

The Trump administration extended Tuesday $12 billion in emergency financial assistance to farmers negatively affected by the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. (RELATED: Trump Hands Out Billions In Aid To Farmers Caught In The Trade War Crossfire)

“The actions today are a firm statement that other nations cannot bully our agricultural producers to force the United States to cave in,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Tuesday. “This administration will not stand by while our hard-working agricultural producers bear the brunt of unfriendly and illegal tariffs.”

The president had previously instructed Perdue to develop a plan to protect farmers from Chinese retaliatory tariffs. “Farmers are resilient. They understand that China has not been playing fair,” Perdue told CNBC last month. “They are patriots, but they also know that patriotism can’t pay the bills and that’s where they are concerned.”

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