McCain: Trump's withdrawal from TPP a 'serious mistake'

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate panel advances 6B defense policy bill McCain: Trump pardoning Jack Johnson 'closes a shameful chapter in our nation’s history' Trump pardons late boxing champion Jack Johnson MORE (R-Ariz.) blasted President Trump on Monday, warning that his decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will spark a wave of negative consequences. 

“President Trump’s decision to formally withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a serious mistake that will have lasting consequences for America’s economy and our strategic position in the Asia-Pacific region," McCain said in a statement. 

Trump signed an executive action on Monday withdrawing from the trade deal, a key pillar of the Obama administration's second term. 

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The decision drew quick praise from Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersTrump: ‘Clapper has now admitted there was spying on my campaign’ Overnight Defense: Trump decision on Korea summit coming 'next week' | China disinvited from major naval exercise | Senate sends VA reform bill to Trump Senate sends major VA reform bill to Trump's desk MORE (I-Vt.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who broke with Obama over the agreement. 

But McCain argued that it is the "wrong decision" and will increase China's economic influence in the region. 

"It will send a troubling signal of American disengagement in the Asia-Pacific region at a time we can least afford it," he said. 

Top Senate Republicans, including Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOvernight Finance: Trump signs Dodd-Frank rollback | Snubs key Dems at ceremony | Senate confirms banking regulator | Lawmakers lash out on Trump auto tariffs Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Abortion rights group plans M campaign to flip the House Senate GOP sounds alarm over Trump's floated auto tariffs MORE (R-Utah), appeared open last year to moving the trade deal if the Obama administration would commit to changes to the agreement.

But Trump drew a hard line on trade during his campaign, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell says he backs Mueller probe after classified briefing Overnight Finance: Trump signs Dodd-Frank rollback | Snubs key Dems at ceremony | Senate confirms banking regulator | Lawmakers lash out on Trump auto tariffs Senate Dems’ campaign chief ‘welcomes’ midterm support from Clintons MORE (R-Ky.) acknowledged last year that TPP was dead for the foreseeable future. 

McCain added on Monday that the administration should support a "positive trade agenda" in the Asia-Pacific region in the future. 

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said on Monday that pro-trade lawmakers have to do a better job of defending their positions. 

"It's clear that those of us who believe trade is good for American families have done a terrible job defending trade's historic successes and celebrating its future potential," he said. "We have to make the arguments and we have to start now."