The U.S. on Wednesday vowed "to defend" American soybean producers against possible Chinese trade action as fears of a trade war loomed over the nation's agriculture industry.
China's Global Times, the ruling Communist Party's official newspaper, said in an editorial that "the Trump administration has repeatedly accused China of violating international trade rules and threatened to impose higher tariffs on Chinese products. But the U.S. is actually the breaker of WTO rules, which can be seen clearly by how subsidized U.S. soybeans are dumped on China."
With the editorial, "the Chinese are hinting that they are going to restrict soy as part of an anti-dumping proceeding," said Daniel Ikenson, director of trade policy studies at Washington-based Cato Institute, the libertarian think tank.
The Chinese media attack on U.S. agriculture comes as President Donald Trump is expected Thursday to announce up to $60 billion in annual new tariffs against Chinese goods as part of clampdown on Beijing's intellectual property theft. Administration officials have previously estimated that China's theft of intellectual property could cost the U.S. economy up to $600 billion annually.