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Washington — US President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended his trade war with China as tensions escalated and markets extended their losses, promising a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping soon, even as fears escalated about a protracted battle. In a string of early-morning tweets, Trump kept up his “America first” agenda in support of hefty tariffs and called on US companies to back him by shifting their businesses away from China. But he also softened his tone on soybeans and other agricultural products, appealing to Beijing to act. “When the time is right we will make a deal with China,” Trump said. “It will all happen, and much faster than people think. Hopefully China will do us the honour of continuing to buy our great farm product, the best, but if not your country will be making up the difference,” he wrote in post addressing US farmers directly. Last week, the head of the US department of agriculture said more aid was being planned for US farmers but gave no details. W...

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