Trump tells Trudeau on NAFTA: US will agree to fair deal or ‘no deal at all’

Trump tells Trudeau on NAFTA: US will agree to fair deal or ‘no deal at all’
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE issued a stern warning to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday, saying that the U.S. would either accept a "fair deal" on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or none at all.

"The United States has been taken advantage of for many decades on trade. Those days are over," Trump said in a statement issued to reporters by the White House. "Earlier today, this message was conveyed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada: The United State will agree to a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all."

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In a news conference earlier Thursday, Trudeau said he scrapped a planned trip to Washington to finalize a new deal on NAFTA after Vice President Pence demanded that any agreement expire after five years. 

Trudeau said he made clear to Pence in a phone call on Tuesday that he would never sign a pact with a sunset clause. 

A White House official told The Hill that the sunset clause was one of several issues that the Trump administration wanted "clarity" on, and that it would continue to pursue NAFTA negotiations with Canada and Mexico. 

Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from NAFTA unless it is renegotiated to fix what he has described as unfair terms for the U.S.

Negotiators have sought for months to hammer out a reworked pact amid broader backlash over Trump's move to impose tariffs on several nations.

The latest sharp words between the leaders of the two countries came as Trump on Thursday moved ahead with his decision to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, prompting global leaders to warn of various retaliatory measures.