Trump Accuses China of Trying to ‘Change’ US Election
U.S. President Donald Trump accused China Tuesday of “actively trying to impact and change” the U.S. election and threatened “great and fast economic retaliation” if it retaliates with measures that would hurt American workers.
Trump did not offer evidence to support his accusation nor did he specify whether it was the upcoming midterm elections China was allegedly targeting.
The accusation comes one day after China promised to take “countermeasures” against Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth Chinese imports.
The new duties, which take effect on September 24, will begin at 10 percent, then rise to 25 percent on January 1, 2019. The tariffs will be imposed on thousands of consumer goods, including electronics, food, tools and housewares.
The Trump administration exempted numerous other items from the new tariffs, including smart watches, Bluetooth devices, and infant car seats.
China’s Commerce Ministry issued a statement Tuesday warning that it would respond to the new U.S. tariffs “to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and the global free trade order.”
Beijing has previously released a list of $60 billion in American-made goods subject to its retaliatory tariffs.
In the statement announcing the new tariffs, Trump warned that “if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports.”
China has previously said it will welcome new trade talks with Washington, but also suggested it would not engage in more negotiations if the United States imposed the tariffs.
In recent months, Washington and Beijing imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of goods headed across each other’s borders.
Earlier Monday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told the Economic Club of New York that the United States is “ready to negotiate and talk with China any time that they are ready for serious and substantive negotiations toward free trade to reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers, to open markets, to allow the most competitive economy in the world, ours, to export more and more goods and services to China.