Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday rejected a U.S. demand for a sunset clause in NAFTA but said he was prepared to compromise on the issue, which is holding up talks to update the 1990s-era pact.
U.S. President Donald Trump – who regularly threatens to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement – insists that Canada and Mexico agree to a sunset clause that would allow a member nation to withdraw after five years.
“There will not be a sunset clause … we will not, cannot sign a trade deal that expires automatically every five years,” he told a news conference at the end of a Group of Seven summit in Quebec.
“I think there are various discussions about alternatives that would not be that, and that would not be entirely destabilizing for a trade deal, and I think we are open to creativity,” he said.
This, he suggested, could involve “a check in and a renewal.” Officials say Canada and Mexico have proposed member nations gather every five years to review the treaty.