Trudeau: Mike Pence's Demand Sank NAFTA Talks

French president Emmanuel Macron says Trump tariffs are a mistake
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2018 8:32 AM CDT
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario on Thursday, May 31, 2018.   (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press via AP)
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(Newser) – Justin Trudeau says he was ready to fly to Washington to make a deal on NAFTA—until Mike Pence made a demand that he had no choice but to reject. The Canadian prime minister says the vice president told him there would have to be a "sunset clause" guaranteeing that the deal would expire in five years, the Washington Post reports. Trudeau says this would create far too much uncertainty for businesses. He says the visit was called off after he made it clear to Pence that no Canadian leader would sign a deal containing a sunset clause. Trump said in a statement Thursday that the US "has been taken advantage of for many decades on trade" and the message was conveyed to Trudeau that Washington will "agree to a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all." "FAIR TRADE!" he tweeted.

Trudeau denounced new US tariffs on Canadian, Mexican, and EU imports as "totally unacceptable" and said Ottawa will slap tariffs on $12.8 billion worth of US goods, the AP reports. Trump previously framed our dependence on imported metals as a national security threat, and Trudeau addressed that: "Canada is a secure supplier of aluminum and steel to the US defense industry, putting aluminum in American planes and steel in American tanks. That Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States is inconceivable." Mexico also vowed to penalize US imports, and French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday he had spoken to Trump and told him the tariffs were an illegal "mistake" that would draw a "firm" response. (Read more tariffs stories.)

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