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Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA

Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA
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Trade Works for America, a group aiming to secure passage of President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE's trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, launched a new six-figure media buy on Tuesday as a last effort to get the deal across the finish line.

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement deal and President Trump said on Monday that “a lot of strides” had been made towards an agreement. 

The White House, House Democrats and labor officials have been negotiating parts of the deal and have indicated that the deal is in its final stages.

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“At this point, the ball is on the two-yard line we just need to punch it into the end zone,” Trade Works for America co-chairman Phil Cox, a GOP operative, told The Hill. “I think this could be the extra push that we need. This is in response to the dynamics that we’re seeing in front of us and how close we believe this deal is to getting done.”

The new media buy is part of a multimillion-dollar, nationwide ad campaign to educate workers, job creators and lawmakers about the benefits of the USMCA. The campaign is focused on educating and mobilizing voters outside the D.C.-area.

“We are really focused on 35 or so tier-one House districts. The focus at this point is on constituent activation, not persuasion,” Cox said.

The group has been targeting Democrats in districts that Trump won in 2016 or highly competitive districts in 2020 but, as some Democrats have expressed support for the deal, they have shifted their resources into districts where members haven’t made a public statement of support.

The new ads target 35 members, including Democratic Reps. Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonPorter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector Democratic lawmakers call for Pence to invoke 25th Amendment, remove Trump from office 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics MORE (Va.), Colin Allred (Texas) and Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellDemocrats to levy fines on maskless lawmakers on House floor Growing number of lawmakers test positive for COVID-19 after Capitol siege Democrats offer bill fining lawmakers who don't wear masks in Capitol MORE (Mich.). GOP Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzFlorida Republicans close ranks with Trump after Capitol siege The Memo: Historic vote leaves Trump more isolated than ever Top Republican congressional aide resigns, rips GOP lawmakers who objected to Biden win MORE (Fla.) is the only Republican targeted.

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“We want to make sure we’re not taking anyone for granted regardless of party affiliation,” Cox said.

They are digital activation ads with the goal of generating calls and emails to members of Congress with pro-USMCA material until there is a vote in the House. Trade Works for America estimates it will contact about 20,000 new voters from the ad.

“We’re cautiously optimistic we will see a deal before the and of the year. Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi and Chairman (Richard) Neal have said they’re on a path to yes. Now it's time to get off the path and get the USMCA done,” Cox said.

Trade Works for America was announced in February but officially launched with the announcement of its co-chairs in March. Former Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampHarrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment Biden to tap Vilsack for Agriculture secretary: reports OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA guidance may exempt some water polluters from Supreme Court permit mandate | Vilsack's stock rises with Team Biden | Arctic wildfires linked to warming temperatures: NOAA MORE (D-N.D.), who lost her reelection campaign in November is a co-chairwoman, alongside Cox.

The group ran ads targeting four lawmakers— Republican Rep. Tim WalbergTimothy (Tim) Lee WalbergREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Rep. Rick Allen tests positive for COVID-19 Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview MORE (Mich.) and freshman Democratic Reps. Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinFive centrist Democrats oppose Pelosi for Speaker in tight vote Pelosi wins Speakership for fourth time in dramatic vote LIVE COVERAGE: House votes to name Speaker MORE (Mich.), Xochitl Torres Small (N.M.) and Josh Harder (Calif.), in March.