Trump blasts China for placing 'propaganda' insert in Iowa newspaper

Trump blasts China for placing 'propaganda' insert in Iowa newspaper
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE slammed China for a four-page insert in Sunday’s Des Moines Register bought by The China Daily, a Chinese government-run media company.

“China is actually placing propaganda ads in the Des Moines Register and other papers, made to look like news. That’s because we are beating them on Trade, opening markets, and the farmers will make a fortune when this is over!” he tweeted Wednesday. 

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The ad, which carried an article titled “Duel undermines benefits of trade,” sought to praise trade between the U.S. and China, highlight Chinese President Xi Jinping’s relationship with Iowa and criticize Trump's trade policies.

“It’s not surprising that China Daily sought to place advertising with the Des Moines Register, because the Register is Iowa’s largest news organization and Iowa farmers are disproportionately affected by China’s tariffs,” Register Executive Editor Carol Hunter said in a statement to The Hill.

Iowa's two main exports are corn and soy, and both are on China’s list of tariffs.

Washington and Beijing are in the midst of a trade spat, with each side slapping tit-for-tat tariffs on imports from the other country.

Trump this month directed his administration to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, in addition to $50 billion already subject to tariffs. 

Beijing responded by slapping retaliatory tariffs on billions of dollars in American goods.

The newspaper reported last week that Trump’s trade wars with various countries could cost Iowa farmers up to $2.2 billion

"I think it's trying to maximize pressure on the administration to change its trade policies toward China by attempting to show White House and Republicans that they're going to pay a price with the midterms," David Skidmore, a political science professor at Drake University, told the Des Moines Register about the insert.

Trump’s ongoing feud with China spilled into the world’s foremost diplomatic arena Wednesday when he accused China of attempting to meddle in the November midterm elections, saying Beijing was targeting Republicans because of the administration’s trade policies. The president did not provide any evidence.

"Regrettably, we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election," Trump said during a United Nations Security Council meeting in New York. "They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade."

China denied the allegation.