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 TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE wants Congress to take up his trade agreement with Mexico and Canada soon, despite his feud with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSchumer calls on Trump to testify as part of impeachment inquiry Sunday shows — Spotlight shifts to Sondland ahead of impeachment inquiry testimony Perception won't be reality, once AI can manipulate what we see 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 HoyerLawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms The Hill's 12:30 Report: Former Ukraine envoy offers dramatic testimony Hoyer calls GOP efforts to out whistleblower 'despicable' MORE (Md.), Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.), House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesUSMCA deal close, but not 'imminent,' Democrats say House Democrat's Halloween display mourns passed bills that die in McConnell's 'legislative graveyard' Democrats unveil impeachment procedures MORE (N.Y.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chief Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi accuses Trump of 'bribery' in Ukraine dealings DCCC adds senior staffers after summer departures DCCC raises more than M in October MORE (Ill.).

Additionally, ads also target House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealKrystal Ball accuses Democrats of having 'zero moral authority' amid impeachment inquiry House Democrats object to giving Trump notice before seeking NY tax returns On The Money: Trump appeals to Supreme Court to keep tax returns from NY prosecutors | Pelosi says deal on new NAFTA 'imminent' | Mnuchin downplays shutdown threat | Trump hits Fed after Walmart boasts strong earnings MORE (Mass.) and Rep. Anna EshooAnna Georges EshooDemocrats demand FCC act over leak of phone location data Hillicon Valley: TikTok faces lawmaker anger over China ties | FCC formally approves T-Mobile-Sprint merger | Silicon Valley lawmakers introduce tough privacy bill | AT&T in M settlement with FTC Silicon Valley lawmakers introduce tough privacy bill to regulate top social media platforms 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 WalbergPro-trade group targets Democratic leadership in push for new NAFTA The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Restrictive state abortion laws ignite fiery 2020 debate On The Money: Mnuchin signals officials won't release Trump tax returns | Trump to hold off on auto tariffs | WH nears deal with Mexico, Canada on metal tariffs | GOP fears trade war fallout for farmers | Warren, regulator spar over Wells Fargo MORE (Mich.) and freshman Democratic Reps. Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinOvernight Health Care: Walden won't seek reelection | Senate Dems to vote this week to overturn Trump ObamaCare moves | Largest children's migrant shelter to close | Vulnerable Republicans balk at drug pricing bill House passes third bill aimed at preventing foreign election interference Avoiding the snake in the grass: Let's not allow impeachment to divide us 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 HeitkampThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Trump wins 60 percent approval in rural areas of key states Pence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa MORE (D-N.D.), who lost her reelection campaign in November, and GOP operative Phil Cox.