Americans Want to Boycott Chinese Goods and Companies Like Amazon Should Help Them, Senator Rick Scott Says

Republican Senator Rick Scott said that the American public will want to boycott Chinese goods after the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. resale companies, such as Amazon, should help by listing where items are made.

In an interview on The Charlie Kirk Show podcast, released Monday night, the Florida senator called China an American adversary. Kirk, a Newsweek contributor, is founder and president of the conservative group Turning Point USA.

"They don't open up our markets, they steal our technology, they are completely non-transparent in this process," Scott said in reference to the coronavirus outbreak that was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei in December 2019.

"By doing that, people are going to die," he continued. "It didn't allow other countries to get prepared. Because we care more about our citizens than China cares about theirs, we're trying to keep our citizens alive and not kill our economy, but they lied to us, they cheat."

U.S. politicians and China's critics have accused Beijing of underplaying the real impact of COVID-19, including the virus' infection and death rate. Their skepticism over China's reported figures were sparked by the country's attempts to cover up the severity of the outbreak in the early stages and the revisions made to how domestic cases are counted.

Scott said that China's handling of the coronavirus pandemic has "really changed Americans' view" of their country. "People are dealing with them through this crisis, but after that, I believe the American public is going to stop doing business with China," he predicted, adding that "people are now fed up with China" because they "clearly killed Americans with their actions."

"No one should buy anything from communist China," Scott continued. "We should never forget it is communist China, run by the General Secretary of the Communist Party Xi."

Rick Scott
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) questions Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli and Assistant HHS Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec during a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on the government's response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on March 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. Samuel Corum/Getty

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying has defended an "open and transparent" China and said U.S. officials are merely attempting to "shift the blame." Beijing's aggressive containment methods have drastically slowed the coronavirus in recent weeks, while the number of individuals who have tested positive in the U.S. has increased rapidly.

Scott claimed that there is now bipartisan support in Congress to ensure the U.S. halts business with China unless the country's behaviours change, which he doesn't believe will happen. "They're not going to let the Uighurs out of prison, they're not going to treat Hong Kong or Taiwan fairly, they're not going to do it," the senator said.

Scott also called on American companies to help citizens identify Chinese products in order to avoid them. "I have a bill that would require all the resellers, like Amazon, to put up on their website—which they won't—where things are made," he said.

Newsweek reached out to The Chinese Foreign Ministry for comment.

Scott's remarks to Kirk was not the first time he has spoken out against China over their handling of the coronavirus. In a New York Times opinion letter, published March 3, the Florida senator said "Communist China cannot be trusted, and has not been honest about the coronavirus."

Scott's animosity towards the Asian nation also predates the virus. Last November, he told CNBC that he doesn't believe a trade deal with China will alleviate the tensions that exist between Beijing and Washington.

"Communist China wants to control the entire world, including Americans," he said.

Americans Want to Boycott Chinese Goods and Companies Like Amazon Should Help Them, Senator Rick Scott Says | U.S.