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

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill's 12:30 Report Senate gets to work in August — but many don’t show up Rand Paul’s Russia visit displays advancement of peace through diplomacy 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) SandersBoogeywomen — GOP vilifies big-name female Dems RealClearPolitics editor: Moderate Democrats are losing even when they win Sanders tests his brand in Florida 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 HatchSentencing reform deal heats up, pitting Trump against reliable allies Dem lawmaker calls Trump racist in response to 'dog' comment PETA calls out Trump for attacking Omarosa as a 'dog' 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 McConnellTrump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Sen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances The Hill's 12:30 Report 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."