Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA

Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA
© Greg Nash

A majority of Senate Republicans are urging the Trump administration to work closely with lawmakers to ensure the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has enough support to win the approval of Congress.

Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynSenate ethics panel won’t penalize Booker over confidential Kavanaugh documents Graham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Trump tells GOP senators he’s sticking to Syria and Afghanistan pullout  MORE (R-Texas) and 31 of his GOP Senate colleagues sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMcConnell urges GOP senators to call Trump about tariffs Companies brace for trade war MORE on Monday calling on him to avoid a "take it or leave it" strategy on the 24-year-old trade agreement. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“As you near the conclusion of NAFTA negotiations, we urge you to closely consider the parameters and negotiating objectives outlined in TPA [trade promotion authority] and work closely with members of Congress from both parties to ensure that any agreement has the broad support necessary to be enacted into law,” the Republican senators wrote.

“In our view, a take-it or leave-it strategy could have negative unintended effects that jeopardize American jobs and economic growth,” they wrote.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I will deliver State of the Union 'when the shutdown is over' Former NYPD commander claims Trump got special treatment for gun licenses Colbert starts petition for Cardi B to give State of the Union rebuttal MORE has repeatedly threatened to withdraw the United States from the deal with Mexico and Canada.

“We are concerned about recent media reports suggesting that you may be considering an ultimatum strategy to pressure Congress into accepting an updated NAFTA, including through threats to withdraw from the original agreement,” the senators wrote.

“In the past, you have suggested that your goal is to achieve overwhelming bipartisan support for a modernized NAFTA,” they wrote.

“We believe this goal is only achievable through a strategy to constructively engage Members of Congress as required by TPA and without attempting to force a choice between negative outcomes,” they wrote.

The senators used the letter to request Congress be closely involved in the process of determining the contents of trade agreements under fast-track rules.

They vowed to provide any help needed to reach a deal that will bolster the U.S. economy.

“When discussing NAFTA modernization legislation with Congress, we ask the administration employ a strategy that emphasizes collaboration, rather than conflict.”

Negotiators were pushing to finish a deal this month so that Congress could consider a new agreement before the end of the year. But they fell short of the target of May 17 set by Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanOvernight Health Care: Trump calls for crackdown on surprise medical bills | Trump officials give religious exemption to foster care program | Uninsured rate at highest level since 2014 | Juul hires former Harry Reid chief of staff As new Congress begins, federal-state connections are as important as ever Trump once asked Paul Ryan why he couldn’t be ‘loyal': book MORE (R-Wis.).

Lighthizer said last week that even though the three countries are still nowhere near a deal, he intends to keep talking with Mexican and Canadian trade officials in an effort to update the agreement.

The GOP senators who signed the letter are Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonOn The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction Leaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight Senators offer measure naming Saudi crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi slaying MORE (Ga.), Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s new immigration plan faces uphill battle in Senate Grassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices Pompeo taking meeting about running for Kansas Senate seat: report MORE (Kan.), James LankfordJames Paul LankfordThis week: Congress heading in opposite directions on shutdown plans Senate GOP eyes 'nuclear option' for Trump nominees GOP senator calls Trump immigration offer a 'straw man proposal' not meant to become law MORE (Okla.), Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderGrassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices McConnell blocks House bill to reopen government for second time Senators restart shutdown talks — and quickly hit roadblocks MORE (Tenn.), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstErnst opens up about past assaults Trump tells GOP senators he’s sticking to Syria and Afghanistan pullout  McConnell: Senate will not recess if government still shutdown MORE (Iowa), John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanOn The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Overnight Defense: Trump faces blowback over report he discussed leaving NATO | Pentagon extends mission on border | Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions MORE (Ark.), Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyOvernight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race MORE (Pa.), John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees Overnight Energy: Wheeler weathers climate criticism at confirmation hearing | Dems want Interior to stop drilling work during shutdown | 2018 was hottest year for oceans Dems blast EPA nominee at confirmation hearing MORE (Wyo.), Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerMomentum for earmarks grows with Dem majority Ernst elected to Senate GOP leadership This week: Congress starts lame-duck with leadership fight MORE (Neb.), Mike RoundsMarion (Mike) Michael RoundsGrassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices Trump tells GOP senators he’s sticking to Syria and Afghanistan pullout  Senators look for possible way to end shutdown MORE (S.D.), Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseOcasio-Cortez returns to 'The Late Show' on Monday On The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions MORE (Neb.), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranOn The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Overnight Defense: Trump faces blowback over report he discussed leaving NATO | Pentagon extends mission on border | Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions MORE (Kan.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDOJ opinion will help protect kids from dangers of online gambling Graham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Barr’s first task as AG: Look at former FBI leaders’ conduct MORE (S.C.), Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungThis week: Congress heading in opposite directions on shutdown plans Senate GOP eyes 'nuclear option' for Trump nominees GOP senators propose bill to pay 'excepted' workers during shutdown MORE (Ind.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGraham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Centrist efforts to convince Trump to end shutdown falter GOP reasserts NATO support after report on Trump’s wavering MORE (N.C.), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonCongress sends bill renewing anti-terrorism program to Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress Hillicon Valley: Republicans demand answers from mobile carriers on data practices | Top carriers to stop selling location data | DOJ probing Huawei | T-Mobile execs stayed at Trump hotel as merger awaited approval MORE (Wis.), John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneMomentum for earmarks grows with Dem majority Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Leaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight MORE (S.D.), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziIf single payer were really a bargain, supporters like Rep. John Yarmuth would be upfront about its cost Senate passes criminal justice overhaul, handing Trump a win Senate votes to end debate on criminal justice reform bill MORE (Wyo.), Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyProposed drug importation bill would expose Americans to counterfeit meds Senate ethics panel won’t penalize Booker over confidential Kavanaugh documents Grassley to hold drug pricing hearing MORE (Iowa), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerOvernight Health Care: Dem chair plans hearing on Medicare for all | Senate GOP talks drug prices with Trump health chief | PhRMA CEO hopeful Trump reverses course on controversial pricing proposal Mobile providers at center of privacy storm The Memo: Trump moves to brink of emergency declaration MORE (Miss.), Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottThe Memo: Diverse Democratic field lines up for 2020 Mellman: Lynching and defective representation If Republicans rebuked Steve King, they must challenge Donald Trump MORE (S.C.), John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenDems struggling to help low-wage contractors harmed by shutdown Trump to address nation on wall Here are the lawmakers who will forfeit their salaries during the shutdown MORE (N.D.), Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesOvernight Health Care: Dem chair plans hearing on Medicare for all | Senate GOP talks drug prices with Trump health chief | PhRMA CEO hopeful Trump reverses course on controversial pricing proposal On The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions MORE (Mont.), Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoOvernight Health Care: HHS chief refuses to testify on family separations | Grassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices | PhRMA spends record on lobbying in 2018 Senate advances measure bucking Trump on Russia sanctions Deutsche Bank targeted by Dems over Trump ties MORE (Idaho), Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSen. Risch has unique chance to guide Trump on foreign policy The Memo: Romney moves stir worries in Trump World Senate GOP names first female members to Judiciary panel MORE (Tenn.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainKamala Harris faces Democrats’ Rocky Mountain divide Momentum for earmarks grows with Dem majority Overnight Health Care: HHS chief refuses to testify on family separations | Grassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices | PhRMA spends record on lobbying in 2018 MORE (Ariz.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzVideo surfaces of Beto O'Rourke playing the Ramones' 'Blitzkrieg Bop' in a mask and onesie Group aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video Howard Dean looking for a 'younger, newer' Democratic nominee in 2020 MORE (Texas), Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischSen. Risch has unique chance to guide Trump on foreign policy Pressure mounts for Trump to reconsider Syria withdrawal Congress poised to push back at Trump on Saudi Arabia, Syria MORE (Idaho), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate Republicans have the fix to end these shutdowns permanently Hillicon Valley: Trump AG pick signals new scrutiny on tech giants | Wireless providers in new privacy storm | SEC brings charges in agency hack | Facebook to invest 0M in local news AG pick Barr wants closer scrutiny of Silicon Valley 'behemoths' MORE (Utah), Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyOvernight Health Care: Trump calls for crackdown on surprise medical bills | Trump officials give religious exemption to foster care program | Uninsured rate at highest level since 2014 | Juul hires former Harry Reid chief of staff Trump calls for cracking down on surprise medical bills Mnuchin meets with Senate GOP to shore up ranks on Russia sanctions vote MORE (La.) and Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerGOP seeks to change narrative in shutdown fight The Memo: Concern over shutdown grows in Trump World Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE (Colo.).