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House GOP leader McCarthy: 'Timing is right' for US-China trade talks as both sides feel pain

Key Points
  • California Rep. Kevin McCarthy says China's economy is being hurt by U.S. tariffs, he also sees the "effects inside America."
  • However, McCarthy says the U.S. weathering the economic impact of the trade war better than China.
  • McCarthy also calls on Democrats to pass the USMCA to make America stronger and to bolster the U.S. hand in China trade negotiations.
VIDEO8:2508:25
Rep. Kevin McCarthy on China trade, Hong Kong, the USMCA and more

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told CNBC on Monday that the "timing is right on both sides" for the U.S. and China to get back to talks aimed at ending their trade war as both countries' economies experience ill effects.

The California Republican ran through a list of factors weighing on China growth, including falling car and clothing sales there. He added that he also sees the "effects inside America."

However, McCarthy told "Squawk Box" that the U.S. was weathering the economic impact of the trade war better than China.

"If I look at time, and I look at history, now is the moment" to strike a trade deal with China, McCarthy said. "Would you want to have this talk 20 years from now when their economy may be stronger or their military may be mightier," he asked.

McCarthy also called on the Democratic-controlled House to pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to make America stronger and to bolster the U.S. hand in China trade negotiations.

"That only makes us stronger going into negotiations with China," McCarthy said as U.S. and Chinese trade officials lay the groundwork for the next round of talks expected in October.

In an earlier CNBC interview, Sen. Rick Scott did not share McCarthy's optimism for a U.S.-China trade deal, putting the ball firmly in Beijing's court.

"China can fix this problem. Xi can do this," the Florida Republican said, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping. "Stop stealing technology, let the people of Hong Kong have their rights."

"This is all Xi's problem. He's causing all of this," Scott said.

The senator also echoed McCarthy's knock on whether China's economic numbers can even be trusted, at a time when trust will play a key role in U.S. trade talks.

McCarthy compared the Chinese data to a Ponzi scheme.

Scott mentioned a Sunday report in The Wall Street Journal that showed several economists believe Chinese economic growth is worse than Beijing actually reveals.

In the second quarter, China said its economy grew at its lowest rate in 27 years as the trade war with the U.S. continued to take a toll.

VIDEO7:3607:36
Senator Rick Scott: The trade fight with China is worth it