Canada, Mex­ico cau­tion that U.S. ‘sun­set clause’ pro­posal for NAFTA just an idea

Toronto Star - - NEWS -

MEX­ICO CITY— The lead­ers of Canada and Mex­ico joined forces Thurs­day to com­bat the idea that an ag­gres­sive U.S. de­mand dur­ing the NAFTA ne­go­ti­a­tions could tank the deal.

The lat­est po­ten­tial poi­son pill came in the form of a U.S. pro­posal for a sun­set clause, which would see any new North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment ter­mi­nated af­ter just five years. The cur­rent deal has been in place for over two decades.

But both Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau and Mex­i­can Pres­i­dent En­rique Pena Ni­eto said the pro­posal re­mains just that, an idea, and it will be dis­cussed just like ev­ery­thing else on the ta­ble.

“We will con­tinue to take very se­ri­ously the work we do and we will not be walk­ing away from the ta­ble based on pro­pos­als put for­ward,” Trudeau said at a joint news con­fer­ence with Pena Ni­eto.

Pena Ni­eto sug­gested that while ob­servers have made pre­dic­tions that cer­tain pro­pos­als could tank the talks, that’s only spec­u­la­tion.

“I would not pay much at­ten­tion to any state­ments other than that which hap­pens (at) the ne­go­ti­a­tion ta­bles,” he said, ac­cord­ing to an English trans­la­tion of his re­marks.

Pena Ni­eto in­di­cated he was pay­ing at­ten­tion to a sug­ges­tion from Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Wed­nes­day that should NAFTA talks fail, bi­lat­eral deals could be ne­go­ti­ated in­stead.

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