Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said Tuesday that he does not believe will be able to strike a trade deal with China, particularly if Chinese telecom firm Huawei is involved.
After a months-long stalemate, Trump announced this week that talks with Beijing had resumed with a goal of striking tariffs and resuming more open trade, but Scott, a former Florida governor, called Huawei a non-starter.
“They’re stealing technology, they won’t open up their market, they’re militarizing the South China Sea, they’re involved in Venezuela where [President Nicolás] Maduro is killing his own citizens — he just killed a Navy captain — so I don’t believe there will be a deal, but clearly there is no way we are going to allow Huawei to sell into the American market from a national security standpoint,” he said in a CNBC interview.
Scott said that the failure to reach a trade deal with China will have short-term impacts, but that American companies will be able to prosper in other markets even without one.
“I think we’d all rather have a deal, but China’s got to stop and decide they’re going to be fair, and they haven’t been willing to do that yet,” he said.
Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Japan last week. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office Monday that trade talks between the two countries had “already begun.” Trump said he would not yet impose tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese products while the negotiations proceed.
Trump also decided at the summit to ease his ban on Huawei, saying “U.S. companies can sell their equipment to Huawei,” a stark reversal on previous policy.
The company is considered a national security risk with the potential to feed data to the Chinese government.
Negotiations between the U.S. and China had previously collapsed in May.