US Proposes "Sunset Clause" That Would Kill NAFTA After 5 Years

After President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the US would be open to striking bilateral trade agreements with Mexico and Canada if the three neighbors can’t come to an agreement on Nafta, Bloomberg is reporting the administration's negotiators have proposed a “sunset clause” that would see the North American Free Trade Agreement expire after five years unless the parties agree to extend it.

According to Bloomberg’s sources, the proposal was presented to a small group of negotiators, and is the latest sign that the talks – the fourth round of which began Wednesday – remain at an impasse with the self-imposed soft year-end deadline rapidly approaches.  

To be sure, the Trump administration insists that real progress is being made. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer kicked off the fourth round of talks on Wednesday by announcing an agreement on a chapter on competition.

Specifically, Lighthizer said the countries have agreed to increase “procedural fairness in competition law enforcement.” Previously, the parties agreed to revise a chapter on small and medium-sized businesses.

Canada and Mexico rejected the idea of a sunset clause after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross floated the idea last month, saying they wouldn’t be able to tolerate the uncertainty it would create for businesses seeking to make long-term investments. Besides, Nafta already has an exit provision allowing members to withdraw after giving six months of notice.

Mexico’s ambassador in Washington Geronimo Gutierrez has said a termination clause would erode business confidence in the region, while his Canadian counterpart has said the Trump administration wouldn't be able to drum up the domestic support.

“If every marriage had a five-year sunset clause on it, I think our divorce rate would be a heck of a lot higher,” Canada’s ambassador to Washington David MacNaughton said last month.


“We can have that discussion, but I really do think it won’t be Mexico and Canada that are pushing back against the secretary, it will be a lot of Americans.”

Of course, the sunset isn’t the only controversial proposal being pushed by the administration. A US proposal over so-called rules of origin for vehicles that would raise the threshold for how much of a car must be built within the Nafta countries to receive the pact’s benefits to 62.5% currently, while adding a US-specific content component.

Rules of origin will be discussed by negotiators on Friday, Sunday and Monday, Bloomberg reported.

The negotiations are happening against a backdrop of heightened trade tensions between the US and Canada. The US Commerce Department last week imposed an astonishing 300% tariff on Bombardier’s C-Series jets, making it virtually impossible for the Canadian aerospace company to sell its planes in the US, and potentially scuttling a deal with Delta Air Lines worth $5 billion. In response, Trudeau, who visited the White House on Wednesday, suspended purchases of equipment manufactured by Boeing until the company drops a complaint against Bombardier that led to the tariff.

While experts maintain that there’s no connection between the Bombardier tariffs and Nafta, it’s difficult to imagine how the trade dispute wouldn’t cast a pall over the negotiations – particularly since officials in both the US and UK worry that the sanctions could drive Bombardier, which has struggled to close deals in recent years, to financial ruin.


Escrava Isaura Gaius Frakkin'… Thu, 10/12/2017 - 17:47 Permalink

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a “sunset clause” that would see the North American Free Trade Agreement expire after five years  Say no more about this nothing burger. Five years all these people will be gone.  

In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…

Endgame Napoleon Five Star Thu, 10/12/2017 - 19:40 Permalink

We have a double “sucking sound” with Mexico, though, with jobs stolen by welfare-fueled illegal aliens on this side of the border and jobs going across the southern border, where US-in-name-only companies set up shop to capitalize on the cheap labor. If so many illegal aliens weren’t sponging up the jobs left in the USA, I could see your point. The trade deficit with China is massive. It is because when Mexicans would accept $1 per hour, the Chinese workers would accept 30 cents per hour for a long time. Wages have supposedly gone up in China. China also has an age-old export history, starting with the Silk Road.

In reply to by Five Star

TheLastTrump Thu, 10/12/2017 - 17:43 Permalink

Couching a trade agreement in terms of a binding lifelong commitment to another human is bullshit. It's spin. This guy wants to continue because he's the one on top. The US is getting screwed, so we renegotiate or they can go pound sand- or each other. “If every marriage had a five-year sunset clause on it, I think our divorce rate would be a heck of a lot higher,” Canada’s ambassador to Washington David MacNaughton said last month."

TheLastTrump Gaius Frakkin'… Thu, 10/12/2017 - 18:09 Permalink

They don't tell the truth about that, either. It's supposed to be 50% of marriages that end in divorce. First marriages are strong as hell per usual. It's 2cd & 3rd marriages that often end in divorce and it skews the results. So people that couldn't make it the first time fail brainer really. Nothing sadder then middleaged or old people that split and wind up with no one to comfort them in their old age.

In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…

Hongcha Thu, 10/12/2017 - 17:45 Permalink

Marriage, eh?  To a goat, perhaps.  These men are unable to fathom the depths of their own corruption.  NAFTA served to help piece off the United States to the lowball bidder; and the men who crafted and passed it are traitors.

Albertarocks ikemike Thu, 10/12/2017 - 18:13 Permalink

Yeah, Canadians are quickly getting pretty freakin' furious at him, especially in the west... as usual.  Because Trudeau and his dad 'always' pandered to the eastern half of the country, at the expense of the western economic engine, especially Alberta.  The most recent case was that he killed the Energy East pipeline that would have taken Alberta crude to refineries that already exist in eastern Canada so they could refine it for Canadian use.  That wouldn't have any effect on oil that we ship to USA.  But noooo... the bastard kills the pipeline so Canadians have to BUY crude from Saudi Arabia.  Can you imagine how much that is pissing Canadians off?  All Canadians!  Odds are high he's going to get his ass kicked all the way out to the mid-Atlantic in 2019.We have to give Trudeau credit for one thing though, his wife Sophie is an absolute knockout.  Beautiful and classy, the epitome of the legendary classy women of Montreal.

In reply to by ikemike

johnnycanuck Albertarocks Thu, 10/12/2017 - 19:50 Permalink

Your tarsands might well still be in the development stage if it weren't for for Trudeau Sr., the Province of Ontario and Peter Lougheed coming together to finance the project no one else would. You should do some research to learn the REAL truth before repeating commonly accepted whiny Albertan propaganda. I lived through the entire era and I know the facts.

In reply to by Albertarocks

Albertarocks johnnycanuck Thu, 10/12/2017 - 20:24 Permalink

Don't talk down to me little man.  Obviously you are the one who hasn't done any research.  And you couldn't have lived through the entire era like I did, otherwise you wouldn't have conveniently forgotten to mention the NEP that utterly destroyed Alberta's economy.  You're just blowing smoke out your eastern ass.  Ontario no doubt, lol.

In reply to by johnnycanuck

johnnycanuck Albertarocks Thu, 10/12/2017 - 22:46 Permalink

Take your whiney NEP garbage and shove it. Do you think the Federal gov't and Prov of Ontario were going to finance your tarsands without some form or return for the NATION whose tax dollars they were investing?  The Feds even invested in pipelines to the east that went as far as the US Atlantic coast to market Western oil.And darn tootin' I will talk down to you if you insist on talking nonsense.  The NEP didn't destroy Alberta's economy either, market conditions caused the price of oil to dive.   That's what they call the 'free market' you know, something Albertan's toute when it's convenient for them to do so.And just so you know, I'm not little.

In reply to by Albertarocks

msamour lester1 Thu, 10/12/2017 - 18:14 Permalink

Yes absolutely! Canadians are getting hosed by greedy assed American corporations! Whenever I am forced to receive a shipnent from UPS, those fuckers charge me 50%of the overall cost if fees on top of what I pay the company I bought the good from. I have cancelled many orders in the last couple of years.Strangley enough, when I buy from China, there are no extra fees on top. As a result, I no longer deal with American companies. American patriotism is destroying their economy. People of other countries have lost trust in the businesses because of the shady practices. I am not missing getting screwed over. Take your nafta and shove it!

In reply to by lester1

oobilly lester1 Thu, 10/12/2017 - 18:34 Permalink

Remember Ross Perot's quote about a 'Giant sucking sound' He was right and all the Americans just beleived what they were told by the two main parties..Now your whining away? Time to own it.oh and maybe think about working China did. They replicated the entire US commercial banking industry IN 5 YEARS! Took you 50.

In reply to by lester1

johnnycanuck oobilly Thu, 10/12/2017 - 19:08 Permalink

China also has 1.4 billion people and push come to shove their leadership doesn't really care about them, their health or environment etc,  so long as they can keep them from revolting against the government.In Mao's time there were approx 800 million Chinese and he did everything he could to expand that, regardless of the challenges of providing for that many people.  His successors trashed 40% of the land base and turned it into a toxic waste dump  to keep the aura of growth going at the expense of wages and social benefits which were kept at minimal levels to get where they are now.This has been going on since Kissinger the Great masterminded the wonderous outreach some 40 odd years ago and it will take at least that long to wind it back.  But it won't happen with debt slaves making up the bulk of the productive population in the West.  They simply won't pay for quality goods manufactured at home,  the way it used to be. Some folks will need to adjust their lifestyles for the greater good to stop the carnage. Where are the leaders?  Not in Corporate America, that's for sure.  They are too busy looking out for they selves.  Sad..  

In reply to by oobilly

johnnycanuck lester1 Thu, 10/12/2017 - 18:45 Permalink

NAFTA was an American brain child and it was intended to plunder neighbors to the north and south for American Robber Barons.  It worked quite well actually but has run out of opportunities, thus the impetus to renegotiate or trash it.Canadians btw never wanted it, it was delivered unto us by Canada's first Benedict Arnold, the not so Honorable lyin' Brian Mulroney who only a few years earlier when campaigning for the leadership of the 'Progressive Conservative Party of Canada'  said a free trade deal with the US would be a terrible thing and when bad times came the Americans would take back everything they had invested in Canada and throw up protectionist walls to favor themselves.Shortly thereafter, lyin' Brian became the greatest advocate for US / Canada Free trade.  Those Conservatives eh?  Not socialists btw,  modern day ConservativesCanada's second Benedict Arnold if you are wondering, was also a Conservative, the Zionist bum boy Stephen Harper. In between we get the white cats, the Liberals, who always seem to manage to reluctantly go along with what the  Black Cats, the Conservatives did. Funny how that works.  Meh, Cats are Cats no matter the color I suppose.Lastly, don't come for our Dairy cows, we don't want anymore of your poison.

In reply to by lester1

nevertheless Thu, 10/12/2017 - 18:11 Permalink

Chump, when it's a priority of his zionist masters, he act immediatelywhen it's a campaign promise to the US voter, it's always delay...Chump did not end DACA, like he promised, nope, kicked it to congress to insert amnesty!Chump will grant amnesty, he is a zionist traitor, period.  

Davidduke2000 Thu, 10/12/2017 - 18:29 Permalink

Trump can shove NAFTA up his ass, Canada signed that deal when China was not on the map, Canada hardly buy anything from the us, good riddance NAFTA. A former prime minister said once " they got their NAFTA and we got the SHAFTA"

bluez Thu, 10/12/2017 - 18:31 Permalink

"If every marriage had a five-year sunset clause on it."Wait a minute. Life is too short for a lifetime enslavement contract.A five-year sunset clause on every marriage! Yes!

Martian Moon Thu, 10/12/2017 - 18:41 Permalink

Kill NAFTA now, so the mess blows up in the Liberals' faceCanada won't survive another 5 years of Trudeau's Liberals if the globalist sellouts get re-elected 

johnnycanuck Martian Moon Thu, 10/12/2017 - 19:22 Permalink

You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.  Justie is the dawling of the same people who backed that louse Stephen Harper.  He is smooth, the women love him and he's cool too.  He's way better than Macroon in France.He is in with the minorities, the girls and even the Zionists.  Why Justie is the man of all the people.  You are just too slow to pick up on how things work in this new age.Trump on the other hand, is like a blind steer crashing though a china shop.  He can't even articulate his vision beyond blurps @ 140 characters at a time and even then he goes off on childish tangets, picking fights with monsters that don't really matter so he appears tuff to his base of secondary dotards.  Sad ti the tenth power.

In reply to by Martian Moon

johnnycanuck redmudhooch Thu, 10/12/2017 - 19:59 Permalink

Well my tag for Obama is such;  Obie Wan Bin Hopey Changey.  Unfortunately that gives a hat tip to that dunce Sarah Palin, but it fits.As for Clinton, I don't  think I have to add more to the common consensus.   On the night of the US presidential election, I didn't go to sleep sad because she was defeated.Some folks came, they saw....she died.

In reply to by redmudhooch