Pro-Trump Group Spending $1 Million on Ads Boosting NAFTA Replacement

October 14, 2018 Updated: October 16, 2018

A conservative nonprofit is rolling out a $1 million ad campaign on Oct. 14 to push the Congress to approve the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), the new name for the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The deal includes labor provisions long-sought by Democrats. Combined with Republican support for the president, Congressional approval should be a breeze, but little is certain in the current political climate, according to Curtis Ellis, a senior policy advisor for America First Policies (AFP), the group behind the ad campaign.

“In the current climate of unbridled resistance and obstruction by Democrats, nothing can be taken for granted,” Ellis, who served as a policy adviser to the Trump campaign, said.

“In a normal world and a normal time, there would be absolutely no dispute over the virtues of the USMCA. It addresses concerns about labor provisions, protection of intellectual property, it encourages manufacturing innovation in the United States.”

The 30-second television spot touts the USMCA as a “better deal for American farmers” and “a new dawn for American automakers.” The ad urges people to call their representatives in Congress and ask them to pass the USMCA.

The ad will air on Fox News and Fox Business from Oct. 15 to Nov. 9, according to Alex Titus, a policy adviser for AFP.

The Trump administration is negotiating the deal under the fast-track trade-promotion authority, which means only a majority vote is required in the Senate.

President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to undo NAFTA, calling it “the worst trade deal ever made.” The White House negotiated for a revised deal for more than a year before reaching a two-party deal with Mexico that Canada joined hours before the deadline.

Trump was aware that the deal might face opposition from Democrats.

“I then will submit it for approval to Congress where, in theory, there should be no trouble, but anything you submit to Congress is trouble,” Trump said on Oct. 1.

“No matter what. If it’s the single greatest agreement ever signed, they’ll say, ‘Well, you know, Trump likes it, therefore we’re not going to approve it because that would be good for the Republicans. So, therefore, we can’t approve it.'”

Correction: an earlier version of the article incorrectly stated that USMCA requires approval by the Senate. Trade deals require approval by both chambers of Congress. The Epoch Times regrets the error.

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