By Tyler Durden
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 …read more