Republican Florida Senator Rick Scott said this week on CNBC that finishing “phase one” of a new trade deal between the U.S. and China won’t solve most of the longstanding issues between the world’s two largest economies.
“Communist China wants to control the entire world, including Americans,” Scott said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” program. “They’re not our partner. They’re never going to be our partner under these existing leadership teams.”
Scott has been widely critical of China due to the communist countries’ awful human rights record, and the close ally to U.S. President Donald Trump said it’s unlikely a successful trade deal will be reached as the stock market swings wildly on seemingly every word uttered about it.
“I believe we’ve got to live in reality,” he said. “How many months are we going to talk about this? They’re not going to do what we need them to do.”
Reports keep coming that the two sides are close to a “phase one” deal, but nothing has materialized yet. Trump said last month China agreed to up its purchase of American agricultural products to about $40 billion to $50 billion, and that Beijing agreed to address its forced tech transfer, intellectual property theft and financial services concerns.
But Trump then said he had not agreed to roll back any of the $500-plus billion worth of tariffs on Chinese imports, pouring cold water on the deal and turning China pessimistic about getting anything done in the meantime.
Scott said earlier this year that Americans need to stop purchasing Chinese goods because the tariffs largely haven’t worked so far. He also said Monday that while a new deal would be great, no one really believes China will change its way — no matter how many promises it makes to do so.
“All of us would like a deal with China,” Scott said. “They’re not going to do anything that’s good for us and they’re never going to open up their markets.”
“We cannot continue to build the Chinese economy.”