Rising protectionism has been a fear of business for years, and the fears seem borne out by the grades a major trade group has announced today of members of Congress.

Five freshmen senators, including four Democrats and Independent Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDem blame game rages over Clinton loss Five things to watch for in the DNC race Sanders: I have little hope Trump will keep promises MORE (Vt.), received "F" grades from the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), which represents hundreds of U.S. companies.

Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownSanders vs. Trump: The battle of the bully pulpit Fight over 'Buy America' provision erupts in Congress Trump’s economic team taking shape MORE (D-Ohio), Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillA Cabinet position for Petraeus; disciplinary actions for Broadwell after affair Defense bill tackles retaliation against military sex assault victims Red-state Dems face tough votes on Trump picks MORE (D-Mo.), Jon TesterJon TesterRed-state Dems face tough votes on Trump picks Montana Republican warns of Senate challenge to Tester Vulnerable Dems ready to work with Trump MORE (D-Mont.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseGOP wants to move fast on Sessions Dem senator backing Sessions for attorney general Dems pledge to fight Sessions nomination MORE (D-R.I.) were given "F" marks by the group, and four other freshmen got "D" grades. They included a Republican, Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerPriebus says State announcement coming in next 2 weeks AP: Huntsman among secretary of State possibilities Scarborough: Giuliani would be 'disastrous' pick for State MORE (Tenn.).

The NFTC noted that it didn't have many votes on which to score lawmakers. A controversial trade deal with Colombia is hung up in a dispute between the White House and Democrats in Congress, and deals with Panama and South Korea have also been stalled. The stalemate over Colombia wasn't included in the NFTC's grading system.

The group did consider votes in 2007 on a trade deal with Peru, which was approved, and a Senate vote on a comprehensive immigration bill, which failed to win the 60 votes necessary to clear a Senate rule moving it forward. It also included a vote last month on a deal involving nuclear trade between the U.S. and India.

Sens. John McCainJohn McCainA Cabinet position for Petraeus; disciplinary actions for Broadwell after affair Meet Trump’s ‘mad dog’ for the Pentagon Wrestling mogul McMahon could slam her way into Trump administration MORE (R-Ariz.) and Barack ObamaBarack ObamaFor Trump, foreign policy should begin and end with China Harvard spat between Clinton, Trump camps proves Dems can't accept Trump's improving Wrestling mogul McMahon could slam her way into Trump administration MORE (D-Ill.), their party's presidential candidates, were not scored because they did not cast enough votes on the measures monitored by NFTC.

-Ian Swanson