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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 TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat 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 WextonLate Capitol Police officer's family urges Congress to agree to Jan. 6 commission Administration withdraws Trump-era proposal to loosen protections for transgender homeless people Trump the X-factor in Virginia governor race MORE (Va.), Colin Allred (Texas) and Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellOvernight Energy: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday | Bipartisan bill would ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics | Biden admin eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve Bipartisan lawmakers introduce bill to ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics as study finds them prevalent Cosmetic chemicals need a makeover MORE (Mich.). GOP Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzKatie Hill says 'it would take a lot' to convince her to run again for House GOP divided over bills targeting tech giants Kinzinger: Conspiracy theory FBI planned Jan. 6 example of 'legacy of Trump and Trumpism' 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 HeitkampEffective and profitable climate solutions are within the nation's farms and forests Bill Maher blasts removal of journalist at Teen Vogue Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives 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 WalbergRepublicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Masks off: CDC greenlights return to normal for vaccinated Americans Stefanik shake-up jump-starts early jockeying for committee posts MORE (Mich.) and freshman Democratic Reps. Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinRepublicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat Democrats seize on GOP opposition to Jan. 6 commission Hillicon Valley: Democrats urge Facebook to abandon 'Instagram for kids' plan | 'Homework gap' likely to persist after pandemic MORE (Mich.), Xochitl Torres Small (N.M.) and Josh Harder (Calif.), in March.