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

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCortez Masto poised to become DSCC chair Implementation matters: Making certain the VA Mission Act will work for veterans Students protesting Shapiro chant ‘John McCain’s dead’ 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) SandersO'Rourke receives invite to visit Iowa from Democratic Party in Des Moines Senators return to Washington intent on action against Saudis Bernie Sanders: 'We have a president who is a racist' 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 HatchCongress braces for high-drama lame duck Trump to award Medal of Freedom to Babe Ruth, Elvis, Scalia, Hatch How much power do states have? Supreme Court holds the answer 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 McConnellRand Paul blocking Trump counterterrorism nominee On The Money: Trump, Senate leaders to huddle on border wall funding | Fed bank regulator walks tightrope on Dodd-Frank | Koch-backed groups blast incentives for corporations after Amazon deal Congress is going to make marijuana moves 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."