By Ovunc Kutlu
NEW YORK (AA) – U.S. President Donald Trump slammed China on Tuesday for imposing tariffs on American goods, claiming Beijing is trying to influence congressional elections in November.
"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 wrote on Twitter.
Washington said Monday it would begin imposing 10 percent tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion starting next week, adding the rate of tariffs will rise to 25 percent on Jan. 1.
Beijing quickly retaliated by announcing it would implement 5 – 10 percent tariffs on $60 billion worth of American goods, which also will go take effect next week.
China said it has filed a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the U.S. Beijing will look for permission from the WTO to impose additional sanctions against the U.S. on Friday.
Since some of Beijing's tariffs target American agriculture goods, it is important for Trump to resolve the trade dispute with China quickly, or he will risk losing Republican farmers and ranchers' votes in the midterm elections.
Trump said in his tweet, American farmers, ranchers and industrial workers are "great patriots", and claimed they support his stance against China.
"They also know that I am the one that knows how to stop it. There will be great and fast economic retaliation against China if our farmers, ranchers and/or industrial workers are targeted!" he added.
In announcing the $200 billion tariffs, Trump also threatened to impose an additional $267 billion worth of tariffs if Beijing takes retaliatory action against American farmers or other industries.