Trump reassures farmers amid China trade dispute

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE sought on Friday to reassure American farmers that an ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China would not harm their industry, and vowed to "take care" of American agriculture.

Trump said in his weekly address released by the White House that the U.S. will "no longer tolerate unfair and non-reciprocal trading practices – not only with China, but with anyone."

"And my administration will use all available authorities to protect our great farmers. We love our farmers, we’re going to take care of our farmers," he said.

The president's comments came as a spat between Washington and Beijing over Trump's threat to impose stiff tariffs on Chinese goods continues to simmer.

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In his address, Trump cast his tariff threats as necessary to cultivate a "fair and reciprocal trade" relationship between the U.S. and China that he said has long been lopsided. 

"Only by standing up for ourselves can we end the abuse, restore our prosperity and reclaim our economic independence," he said.

The spat between the U.S. and China escalated when the U.S. Trade Representative earlier this month unveiled a list of $50 billion in Chinese products that could be hit with steep tariffs.

China responded in kind, threatening tariffs on $50 billion in U.S. goods and taking particular aim at American agricultural products.

Trump escalated his threats earlier this month when he announced that he had directed the trade representative to consider tariffs on another $100 billion in Chinese products. 

China has repeatedly warned that it will fight back against the proposed duties.

Seeking to quell fears among lawmakers from states with large agricultural industries, Trump said Thursday that he would look at rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral trade deal that he backed out of shortly after taking office last year.