MP Wayne Easter says NAFTA sunset proposal is “a stupid idea”


WASHINGTON — A Canadian MP has told a Washington audience that the American proposal for five-year sunset clause in a renegotiated NAFTA deal is “a stupid idea.”

P.E.I lawmaker Wayne Easter also dismisses U.S. demands for an end to Canada’s supply management policy for dairy products.

The former dairy farmer says Americans should not blame Canada for the glut of dairy on the market, saying they have mismanaged the sector.

He was speaking at an event organized by the Canadian American Business Council, during a visit to Washington by a delegation of Canadian parliamentarians.

His remarks came as the NAFTA countries make what could be a final effort to close an agreement this year.

Easter’s view on the sunset clause is shared by the governments of Canada, and Mexico and many people in Washington, although they are less blunt in their opposition.

Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s deputy ambassador to Washington, spoke earlier at the same event and also questioned the logic of the clause, although she did so in more diplomatic language.

Hillman said a trade agreement has two purposes, liberalizing trade and providing certainty. She said the idea of a five-year sunset accomplishes neither.

The Canadian Press