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 John TrumpSenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal Trump says he'll look into small business loan program restricting casinos 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 WextonDemocratic lawmaker calls for Peace Corps, Americorps volunteers to be eligible for unemployment benefits Black voters propel Biden to big wins in Virginia, NC, Alabama Biden notches major win in Virginia primary MORE (Va.), Colin Allred (Texas) and Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: WHO vs. Trump; Bernie's out Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards | Controversial Keystone XL construction to proceed | Pressure mounts to close national parks amid pandemic Critics blast Trump mileage rollback, citing environment and health concerns MORE (Mich.). GOP Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) Gaetz2020 on my mind: Democrats have to think like Mitch McConnell Harris knocks Gaetz for taking issue with money for Howard in relief package Critics hit Florida governor over lack of 'sweeping' coronavirus response 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 Heitkamp70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Susan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA 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 WalbergThe health care crisis no one is talking about Overnight Defense: Pentagon policy chief resigns at Trump's request | Trump wishes official 'well in his future endeavors' | Armed Services chair warns against Africa drawdown after trip GOP chairman after Africa trip: US military drawdown would have 'real and lasting negative consequences' MORE (Mich.) and freshman Democratic Reps. Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinDemocrats struggle to keep up with Trump messaging on coronavirus States see surge of scams, price-gouging tied to pandemic Juan Williams: Biden's promises on women are a big deal MORE (Mich.), Xochitl Torres Small (N.M.) and Josh Harder (Calif.), in March.