During Madison visit Trump farm secretary blames China for trade wars

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- President Donald Trump's agriculture secretary is telling farmers in Wisconsin that China "toyed" the United States into becoming too dependent on its markets.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue appeared at a town hall forum Tuesday to kick off the World Dairy Expo in Madison. His visit comes as Wisconsin dairy farmers are wrestling with a host of problems, including declining milk prices, rising suicide rates, an industry transition toward a factory farm model and Trump's trade wars.

Jeff Lyon, general manager of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative in Madison, asked Perdue for his thoughts on the trade fight with China. Perdue responded by calling the Chinese "cheaters."

He said the Chinese "toyed us" into being more depending on their markets than they are on U.S. markets.