China’s Trade Investigation Takes Aim at Trump’s Voter Base

China’s Trade Investigation Takes Aim at Trump’s Voter Base

BEIJING — China has opened an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into sorghum imports from the United States, the latest salvo in an escalating trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

The decision, announced by China’s Commerce Ministry on Sunday, could result in China imposing steep tariffs on sorghum. It came less than two weeks after the United States said it was imposing tariffs on solar panels and washing machines that were aimed at curbing cheap imports from China and South Korea.

In espousing his “America First” agenda, President Trump has pledged to protect manufacturers in the United States. He has labeled the challenges posed by the Chinese economy as a threat to United States national security and opened separate trade investigations related to Chinese steel and aluminum imports and into whether Chinese stole intellectual property.

In its statement, China’s Commerce Ministry did not link its investigation to the decision on solar panels and washing machines. The ministry said it obtained “preliminary evidence and information” that showed that imported sorghum from the United States had received subsidies from the United States government. The agency found that domestic producers in China had suffered as a result.

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