Lobbying

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

MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump wants Congress to take up his trade agreement with Mexico and Canada soon, despite his feud with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (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.

{mosads}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 Hoyer (Md.), Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.), House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chief Cheri Bustos (Ill.).

Additionally, ads also target House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (Mass.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (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 Walberg (Mich.) and freshman Democratic Reps. Elissa Slotkin (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 Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who lost her reelection campaign in November, and GOP operative Phil Cox.

Tags Anna Eshoo Cheri Bustos Donald Trump Elissa Slotkin Hakeem Jeffries Heidi Heitkamp Nafta Nancy Pelosi North American Free Trade Agreement Richard Neal Steny Hoyer Tim Walberg Trade Works United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement USMCA
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video