Top tax-writing Republican says TPP trade deal not dead in Congress

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) (L) is seen at the Joint Economic Committee hearings in Washington May 22, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady on Tuesday said Republicans should defend free trade and the party should defend the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the new Congress.

"Republicans are going to continue to support the freedom to trade," the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said.

When it comes to the controversial TPP, which president-elect Donald Trump has opposed, Brady said the plan was defensible.

"Don't withdraw, renegotiate," he told a panel of the Wall Street Journal CEO Council. "There is plenty that levels the playing field. Renegotiate. Fix the problems that exist today. Let's find a way to move forward."

(Reporting By Patrick Rucker and Howard Schneider)