A "phase one" trade deal between the U.S. and China isn't going to solve the longstanding issues between the two nations, Sen. Rick Scott told CNBC on Monday.
"Communist China wants to control the entire world, including Americans," the Florida Republican said on "Squawk Box." "They're not our partner. They're never going to be our partner under these existing leadership teams."
Scott, a key ally of President Donald Trump, has been critical of the world's second-largest economy and its record on human rights. He's often said it's unlikely a successful trade deal will be reached.
"I believe we've got to live in reality," he added. "How many months are we going to talk about this? They're not going to do what we need them to do."
China and the U.S. have remained locked in an escalating trade war for well over a year, with each side placing tariffs on billions of dollars' of each others' goods. Trump announced last month that Beijing agreed to an initial trade deal that would address intellectual property and financial services concerns, as well as Chinese purchases of about $40 billion to $50 billion in U.S. agricultural products.
Over the weekend, Chinese state media publicly said that Vice Premier Liu He had "constructive discussions" in a Saturday morning call with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer about a phase one trade deal. Last week, top Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow said a trade deal was "getting close."
"All of us would like a deal with China," Scott said. But he added he doesn't believe the Chinese can fundamentally change. "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," the senator said.
Earlier this year, Scott said Americans need to stop purchasing Chinese products because other punitive measures in the trade war haven't been effective.