Trump said in a tweet: “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. They are being vicious in what will be their failed attempt. We were being nice - until now! China made $517 Billion on us last year.”
Trump’s comment comes after the administration announced a $12 billion bailout plan for farmers hit by tariffs on their goods. Earlier this month, China slapped a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans, one of the biggest U.S. exports to China.
Some key Republican senators condemned the bailout plan. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., called it a pair of “gold crutches” to support farmers hobbled by Trump’s own trade policies. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said the Trump administration was "offering welfare to farmers to solve a problem they themselves created."
Trump seemed to rebuke these attacks, saying in another tweet Wednesday: “Every time I see a weak politician asking to stop Trade talks or the use of Tariffs to counter unfair Tariffs, I wonder, what can they be thinking?”
The president also said that: “When you have people snipping at your heels during a negotiation, it will only take longer to make a deal, and the deal will never be as good as it could have been with unity.”
Trump also sent the tweet ahead of a meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Washington. The two leaders are expected to discuss improving trans-Atlantic trade relations among other subjects.
Juncker and Trump are meeting as U.S.-European trade relations have been strained. Last month, Trump threatened to implement tariffs on European car imports. European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said last week the EU has a list of countermeasures prepared in case the U.S. moves forward with these charges.