Pro-trade group targets Democratic leadership in push for new NAFTA

Pro-trade group targets Democratic leadership in push for new NAFTA
© MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Sessions defends recusal: 'I leave elected office with my integrity intact' Former White House physician Ronny Jackson wins Texas runoff MORE wants Congress to take up his trade agreement with Mexico and Canada soon, despite his feud with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiUS praises British ban on China's Huawei after pressure campaign Voter fraud charges filed against GOP Rep. Steve Watkins Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel MORE (D-Calif.) last week and his resulting threats to refuse to work with Democrats on their top legislative priorities.

But while the White House's relationship with House Democrats has now created a barrier to any bipartisan agreements, passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was never a guarantee.

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So outside groups supporting the agreement are stepping up their efforts. 

A pro-trade group, Trade Works for America, launched a six-figure buy of television and digital ads on Tuesday in the districts of House Democratic leadership, including Pelosi. It’s part of a multimillion-dollar, nationwide strategy by the group to educate voters about the benefits of the USMCA.

The ads are in the districts of House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerPelosi 'absolutely' willing to push August recess to work on coronavirus relief The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - California a coronavirus cautionary tale as it retrenches to stave off infections 70 progressive groups call for next Foreign Affairs chair to reflect 'progressive realism' MORE (Md.), Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.), House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesReparations bill gains steam following death of George Floyd Karen Bass's star rises after leading police reform push The Hill's 12:30 Report: Supreme Court ruling marks big win for abortion rights groups MORE (N.Y.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chief Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosTime for a Democratic reckoning on race  Karen Bass's star rises after leading police reform push GOP pulls support from California House candidate over 'unacceptable' social media posts MORE (Ill.).

Additionally, ads also target House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealPandemic highlights need for federal long-term care insurance Supreme Court rulings reignite Trump oversight wars in Congress Five takeaways from PPP loan data MORE (Mass.) and Rep. Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooDemocrats fear US already lost COVID-19 battle Why drug costs for older Americans should be capped in pandemic's wake Senate panel advances bill targeting online child sexual abuse MORE (Calif.), who is considered a close ally of the Speaker.

“The USMCA trade deal levels the playing field and protects American workers through improved labor standards and higher wages,” the ad says.

It also touts environmental protections within the agreement and emphasizes the deal is reviewed every six years.

The USMCA is the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump signed the deal in November, giving Congress six months to approve it.

The administration removed the U.S. tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum from the agreement, eliminating a significant roadblock to passage, but Democrats have other concerns, including protecting workers’ rights and labor enforcement. 

Trade Works for America 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 SlotkinOvernight Defense: US formally rejects Beijing's South China Sea claims | House set to consider defense policy bill next week | 57 injured as firefighters battle warship blaze House Democrat warns about 'inaccurate' polls: Trump voters 'fundamentally undercounted' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Justices rule Manhattan prosecutor, but not Congress, can have Trump tax records MORE (Mich.), Xochitl Torres Small (N.M.) and Josh Harder (Calif.) — in March.

Trade Works for America officially launched in March with the announcement of its co-chairs, ex-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, and GOP operative Phil Cox.