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

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump is right: Walls work on the southern border How news media omissions distort Russia probe narrative ... and shield Democrats Arizona city council halts work on mural honoring John McCain over ‘protocol’ concerns, neighbor complaints 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. 


The decision drew quick praise from Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersBrown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Gillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert Dem chairman Cummings meets with Trump health chief to discuss drug prices 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 HatchLive coverage: Trump AG pick grilled on Mueller probe at confirmation hearing Trump praises RNC chairwoman after she criticizes her uncle Mitt Romney Romney sworn in as senator 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 McConnellOn The Money: Shutdown Day 25 | Dems reject White House invite for talks | Leaders nix recess with no deal | McConnell blocks second House Dem funding bill | IRS workers called back for tax-filing season | Senate bucks Trump on Russia sanctions Mellman: Why does the GOP persist? Leaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight 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."