Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump attacks Meghan McCain and her family In Montana, a knock-down redistricting fight over a single line McCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral 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 SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Study finds Pfizer vaccine almost 91 percent effective for 5 to 11 year olds The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat Democratic frustration with Sinema rises 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 HatchLobbying world Congress, stop holding 'Dreamers' hostage Drug prices are declining amid inflation fears 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 McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats 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."