for Responsible Trade
P.O. Box 5206
Hyattsville, MD 20782
Web site: www.art-us.org
Divergent U.S. Critiques of the Security and Prosperity Partnership:
From Anti-Immigrant to Pro-Democracy Perspectives
1. Introduction. Divergent reasons to oppose the SPP.
After the exclusive summit between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, President George W. Bush and President Felipe Calderon in Montebello, Quebec, last August, it has become more evident that there is a growing concern and awareness in the US of the secretive Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) among the three countries. Opposition from civil society in Canada and Mexico is clearly defined by progressive groups who oppose the neoliberal agenda imposed by transnational corporations under the NAFTA regime. However, in the United States, criticisms come from two very divergent perspectives: 1) from progressive groups concerned, like Canadians and Mexicans, about how the continuation of economic deregulation and the hegemonic influence of the US in determining military and economic policy affect human rights and democracy in the region and 2) nationalist isolationist groups that are fearful of rising immigration and loss of US sovereignty with the SPP.
A wide array of civil society organizations in Canada, Mexico and the US have obtained information and are doing analysis to put the SPP on the public’s radar. The SPP, fostered by the White House and embraced by the presidents of the three countries in Waco, Texas in 2005, consists of broadening and deepening the scope of NAFTA (hence it is also known as NAFTA Plus). It has a double purpose, of enhancing corporate profitability and creating a North American security perimeter to fend off internal and external “threats”. The main troublesome characteristic, however, has been the secrecy with which the executives have proceeded.
Security Agenda: this includes the creation of a perimeter of enhanced security in the North American region, namely against “external threats”, and “internal threats” within the region, and to increase the “efficiency of safe and low risk transit” through the shared borders.
Prosperity Agenda: for the promotion of further deregulation in trade and investment to boost “competitiveness.” This agenda is also known as “NAFTA Plus” and includes building infrastructure projects, further removal of trade tariffs and rules of origin, reducing the transaction costs of trade, and promoting regulatory harmonization.
Progressive social and environmental organizations and labor unions have been the whistle blowers of the secretive nature of the SPP. However, in the United States conservative and anti-immigrant organizations have also raised their voices, have attracted more media attention and have managed to engage in debates and discussions with government officials and academics.
The analyses and conclusions made by progressive versus anti-immigrant organizations differ greatly. Progressive organizations consider the SPP to be the continuation of the deregulation of the economies in order to harmonize with the regulatory systems of the United States, with the final purpose of serving US corporative interests. In addition, the SPP aims to build up border surveillance infrastructure as part of the U.S. “War on Terror,” with disturbing implications for civil liberties. Hence, the SPP is likely to deepen “North American” integration but based on the continued subordination of Canada and Mexico, assimilating the U.S. dictates and following its sole leadership, ultimately for its own benefit.
According to the Canadian network Common Frontiers, the SPP is about bringing prosperity to large corporations in North America “who want to remove all obstacles to unfettered investment” on an unequal footing among the three countries, and security for the United States by means of “drawing up changes to Canadian and Mexican regulations and procedures so they will be in sync with Washington’s security agenda” .
According to Teresa Healy of the Canadian Labour Congress, on its economic agenda, the SPP is about “policy harmonization that increasingly opens social life across the continent to the discipline of the market, and in this respect it is about increasing the power of corporations and ongoing deregulation”. The security agenda “embodies the reactionary response to terrorism led by the United States (and thus) followed by Canada and Mexico” being a worrisome advance in terms of civil liberties and being “immigrants and workers of colour (who) face specific threats under the new security regime” .
In Mexico, the Mexican Action Network on Free Trade (RMALC) defines the SPP as the “Agreement in which the executives of the three countries along with the CEOs of great transnationals and the military industry attempt to impose on our peoples through a transnational, oligarchic and militarist project, another mechanism for the geo-economic and geo-strategic expansion of the United States not only at a regional but also at hemispheric and global levels” . According to analysts like John Saxe Fernandez of the Autonomous National University of Mexico “the laws now give the ‘imperial presidency’ unprecedented powers for the establishment of unconstitutional and police-state-like ‘anti terrorist’ structures in the US now being fostered in Canada and Mexico through the SPP (which is) having profound repercussions in Mexico and Canada, since the US new anti terrorist strategy claims that homeland security can only be achieved by locating US security and intelligence units in Mexican and Canadian ports, seaports, railways and highways” .
In sharp contrast to this criticism of the SPP based on the assertion that the U.S. police and military forces are imposing their economic and political agenda on Canada and Mexico, some conservative and anti-immigration organizations in the U.S. view the SPP as a threat to and dissolution of US sovereignty and as an initiative which will open the borders of the three countries to migrant labor and “illegal aliens”. This state of paranoia in the US seems to be growing due to increased immigration pressures from Mexico and other Latin American countries, but these groups do not wish to address the reasons why millions in the developing world are forced to leave their homes in search of better opportunities, where “the poverty, inequality and insecurity related to U.S. trade policies are clearly push factors” . Rather, they carry on with the misconception that “immigration concerns can be addressed through domestic policies rather than by tackling root causes” .
2. The Anti-Immigrant Movement’s Myths about the SPP
• “The SPP will finally open up US borders for unlimited immigration from Mexico”.
Anti-immigrant groups equate the SPP with what they believe to have been President Bush’s intentions to provide amnesty for 12 million “illegal aliens” – the majority of which are Mexicans. These groups criticize recommendations for entry procedures that consist of simplifying NAFTA’s visa system by extending it to a wider range of professional occupations and are fearful of a US – Mexico Social Security agreement, “that would imply Mexican illegal aliens (getting) Social Security credit for unlawful U.S. work… underestimating the costs to U.S. tax payers, hastening the insolvency of the U.S. Social Security”. They fear alien commuters who may gain a special status to commute and to the notion of living on one side of the border and working on the other, given that this neighborliness and continued border crossings would represent hidden taxes on U.S. taxpayers and an increase of a blended traffic of smugglers of narcotics and immigrants.
Immigration is perhaps the single theme that has unleashed this wave of nationalist defensiveness, in spite of the fact that within the SPP immigration is dealt with only from the standpoint of boosting business competitiveness. One of the main goals of the SPP is clearly stated as being to “Improve the legitimate flow of people [note: mainly professionals] and cargo out of our shared borders, and facilitate legitimate travel to and within North America. Reduce the costs of trade through efficient movement of goods and people Technical labor force, on a temporary basis”. The government of the US has also made it clear that the immigration issue with Mexico is limited to the “normal bilateral channels with Mexico”, and not through the SPP.
• “ The SPP is like the European Union, with free labor mobility along with free trade” (see appendix)
This myth is so prevalent that President Bush felt the need to address it at the Montebello summit. For the conservatives, the SPP aims to imitate the European Union and would include the freedom of labor mobility along with that of goods, services and capital. Although there are no documents available to support this, the basic assumption is that any movement towards political cooperation among the three countries would be equal to opening up the labor markets and harmonizing the labor standards downwards.
Many conservative critics presume that the “SPP treats free flows of labor and goods within the continent as necessarily connected, as if equal parts of a formula to yield prosperity”, and think that according to classic economics “trade and immigration bring about different effects and should not be combined, if economic success is the goal” . The main concern of anti-immigrant groups is that the SPP would ‘open the borders’, which would mean drawing Mexicans workers northward, thus stealing jobs and diminishing the incomes of U.S. workers.
• “The SPP is about creating a North American Union with institutions like those in the EU” (see appendix)
The fear is that the SPP will go beyond trade per se in the trilateral relationship and move towards comprehensive economic and political integration similar to the European Union, paving the way for a full scale North American Union (NAU). The ideas of Robert Pastor in his book Toward a North American Community are generally the fodder for suspicion that a NAU would be based on supranational bodies growing out of the SPP that would only grow in size and power, at the expense of national sovereignty and individual rights and liberties . The Minutemen say that “critics of the North American Union claim that multinational unelected organizations would supersede institutions such as the U.S. Supreme Court and relegate the U.S. congress to the modern equivalent of the Roman Senate, more of a tradition than a form of representative government” .
The fear is that these supranational bodies would include unelected and unaccountable tribunals that would dictate US policy in a myriad of aspects including immigration, such as those that Pastor has suggested: a North American Court of Justice, a North American Trade Tribunal and a North American Social Charter. Mexico is not viewed as a trustworthy partner for cooperation, for example in programs to reduce violence along the border. They are even less supportive of ideas to promote technology transfer through an investment fund that so far has only been timidly proposed in the SPP.
• Against a “North American” Identity or Interest.
The conservative SPP critics worry about any language which speaks of a North American identity or North American interest, and instead insist on only thinking of “American national interest”. They warn of academic initiatives to indoctrinate students to consider themselves as having a North American identity rather than as being American, Canadians or Mexicans and they fear an eventual loss of American exceptionalism to a blended North American ‘culture’. They also fear contamination from what they view as Mexico’s long ingrained ills, such as corruption, endemic ineffectiveness of governance, and weak judicial systems with monopolistic and socialistic elements.
Sometimes the anti Mexican groups call on Canadians to join ranks since according to them Canada shares much more in common with the US than Mexico does in terms of economic development, culture, history, the system of government and ultimately the predominance of English. Samuel Huntington, the controversial author of The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order is often cited to back up their arguments that Latin American and Western cultures differ fundamentally, and to explain why , in their view, Mexicans resist stubbornly to assimilating US culture.
Nevertheless, while Canada may be a less alien culture than Mexico, they criticize Canadian social policies, its socialistic outlook on public policy issues, and its approach to governance which are seen as indications that “Americans” would lose a great deal of freedom and self determination should the SPP advance.
• “Mexico and Canada are not to be trusted for a North American security perimeter”
From the perspective of the conservative critics, Mexico is incapable of establishing a security perimeter for North America in its southern border with Guatemala in order to stop Central American “aliens”, such as the US requires and is one of the SPP’s main elements. For them, more Central Americans crossing into Mexico would mean more “aliens” admitted into a North American union. Here the concern is that because of Mexico’s corruption, putting US hopes in Mexico to secure its southern border would be very risky and ineffective
These groups fear also that the liberalization of the trucking industry would increase the smuggling of illegal aliens, foreign slaves, drugs and firearms into the United States as well as money laundering activities. Mexico’s inability to protect their borders is to be feared as well as Canada’s liberal and lax asylum policy that “has enabled terrorists and other foreign extremists to put down roots” .
• “The SPP will threaten the superior US health care system”
For the xenophobes, the US is superior not only to Mexico but also to Canada in every aspect of life including its public health system. They believe that with the SPP, public health threats will increase in the US.
With Mexico, they fear that exotic diseases from third world countries will spread like the hemorrhagic form of dengue fever and other diseases previously eradicated in the United States. Also, they fear that the United States will see even more Mexican patients arriving at its clinics and emergency rooms seeking charity care and would result in increased financial strains on what they consider an already stressed health care system, and that privately insured Americans will see even more health care costs transferred to their costs.
In the case of Canada’s health care, the “SPP would provide greater means for Canadian patients to seek health care in the US, and for Canadian health workers to move to the US” because Canada still “maintains a socialized health system…imposes government price controls on all aspects of health care; rations care (and) restricts private care efforts”. According to their logic, the SPP would provide further incentives for a Canadian flow from its “inefficient socialized medicine system” to the freer United States health market .
• “The SPP means the end of US sovereignty”.
The Stop SPP webpage of the Minutemen states that the SPP includes “erasing our borders, abolishing the US Dollar, and basically turning over the operation of our country including our justice system to an unholy cabal. Who is to gain? Mexico and Bush’s cronies. Who is to loose? First our middle class, then all US Citizens”. Conservative groups believe that the SPP would have huge implications for sovereign US policy, impacting the country’s capacity to guard its physical space and even the “end of the United States as we know it”. By joining in a SPP, Canada and Mexico could outvote the US because this a party of three, and start undermining US sovereignty in favor of a European Union-style supra-national government. From their perspectives, the SPP would foster a NAU similar to the EU, again, where richer countries, like Germany and the UK, have joined with poorer ones like Ireland and Portugal and have been forced, in their view, to share their wealth through the transfer of funds for social cohesion and structural development. Under this view, it would be “the United States, with the greatest achievements of wealth, liberty, order, and culture, (that) stands to lose the most among the SPP partners” .
3. Dismissing the far right xenophobes and what the SPP really means.
The US government has responded to the xenophobic critique of the SPP with a Myths vs Facts section on the official web site. For instance, the page responds to the “myth” that the SPP is meant to deal with immigration reform: “Immigration reform is a legislative matter currently being debated in Congress and is not being dealt with in the SPP”. Trying to debunk the “myth” that “the SPP will result in the loss of American jobs,” the US government unveils one of the real objectives and assumptions behind it: “the SPP seeks to create jobs by reducing transactions costs and unnecessary burdens for U.S. companies, which will bolster the competitiveness of our firms globally. These efforts will help U.S. manufacturers, spur job creation, and benefit consumers” . These are the same arguments used for selling NAFTA in 1994, which has failed to produce the promised results.
According to the Department of Commerce, the SPP is about providing the “framework so that North America is the safest and best place to make business in the world”; a place for “more super highways for trade” and a “North American security perimeter”.. Some analysts are concluding that the SPP does not pose much of a threat . Defenders of the SPP explain that it is about facilitating the movement of legitimate goods and labor and stopping illegitimate goods and illegitimate labor. According to Robert Pastor “we are not competing with Mexico for jobs but with China” and “a freer system of trade is in our interest” . On the eve of Montebello’s summit Pastor charged that the three governments have reacted defensively by watering down a series of wide-ranging objectives and have “allowed the relationship to be defined by an extremist fringe that fears any co-operative initiative is a slippery slope toward dissolution of sovereignty”. Pastor is clear that even when Canadians and Mexican groups express fears due to the fact that they are the weaker partners, “the most vociferous have emerged in the United States” who see the SPP “as tantamount to treason” and names Lou Dobbs of CNN as an example of those who see a conspiracy for a North American Union.
But what is really striking from Pastor’s comments is that it is a good example of how the governments and the intellectual proponents behind the SPP are using the right wing fears to dismiss wider and more profound criticism, and try to downplay the importance of the actual process. In Pastor’s words, “The summit in Montebello should be very important. The agenda for North American co-operation is overflowing with issues that have been neglected for a decade… instead of tackling this agenda, the three leaders have identified a few issues –avian flu, emergency management, and a new regulatory framework- and practically the only ones invited to the meeting are the CEOs of some of the largest corporations”. True, a few CEOs are the only invited but not only to Montebello but to the whole process, under the North American Competitiveness Council, and they are already providing dozens of “recommendations” that are being picked up and implemented, ranging from an Intellectual Property Action Strategy, to the further elimination of rules of origin, as well as a Trilateral Agreement for Cooperation in Energy Science and Technology. All these were announced in Montebello. The bilateral cooperation agenda between the US and Mexico on drug trafficking received a boost too, with the announcement of a sharp increase of US aid to Mexico. The details of all these agreements remain under the veil of secrecy justified by the need to increase security to boost “competitiveness”.
Although SPP proponents want to believe that NAFTA has been a success and that now it needs to be deepened, they also acknowledge that NAFTA has given much of what it had to give and that corporations are finding it better and easier to invest their capital in China and other countries with a cheaper labor force. In Reality, NAFTA has been a disaster for the Mexican working and middle classes and the SPP is not meant to address the consequences of a failed and unfair economic policy. The SPP is justified with NAFTA’s same worn out rhetoric that according to Jeff Faux, of the Economic Policy Institute, “was sold to the people of each nation on the promise that it would bring large net benefits in better jobs and faster growth [(but instead it)] protects the interests of large corporate investors while undercutting workers’ rights, environmental protections and democratic accountability”. Hence the SPP should be seen just as NAFTA, “not as a stand alone treaty, but as part of a long term campaign by the conservative business interests in all three countries to rip up their respective domestic social contract” .
Anti-immigrant groups do not recognize that it is the market forces in the United States that create the demand for foreign workers or that the economic pressures driving so many Mexicans to migrate are a result of the failure of policies promoted in Mexico under pressure from the United States and the international financial institutions. Despite growing evidence that NAFTA has provoked millions of peasants in Mexico to flee the countryside in a desperate search for jobs, mostly in the US, few politicians and other individuals in congressional and public debates have acknowledged that “reducing poverty, inequality, and joblessness abroad is the only long term solution to immigration concerns in this country ”.
Very different from the fears of the conservatives and right wing groups that call for the erection of walls between nations, are the root causes that we must address to help redress the misery to which millions of human beings are subject. Indeed, as Jeff Faux has written, “the continued willingness every year of hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens to risk their lives crossing the border to the United States because they can not make a living at home is in itself testimony to the failure of NAFTA to deliver on the promises of its promoters.” With the SPP the governments want to inject vitamins from the same failed formula, but with the added ingredient of proceeding behind doors, in secret meetings and circumventing congressional oversight. That the debate on the SPP must be opened up is, perhaps, the only aspect on which both US conservative and progressive organizations agree.
4. Some of the concerns of progressive groups with the SPP
• Lack of Democratic Oversight
The SPP is deliberately not conceived as a treaty or agreement in order to circumvent congressional and parliamentary processes of scrutiny and approval, and it excludes members of Congress and members of Parliament from the summits, ministerial meetings and working groups that operate behind closed doors. It remains unclear under what legal authority the executives dictate regulatory convergence and the harmonization of policies and standards. Representatives of the United States and Mexico, and parliamentarians of Canada, are working on the SPP to tackle this democratic deficit, and are increasingly coordinating amongst themselves .
• Civil society and the media excluded
The SPP excludes civil society organizations as well as the media in general from their meetings and deliberations. The governments argue that they are open to civil society recommendations, but this is only through filling forms on web pages. Some representatives of civil society in the US, both from conservative and progressive groups, have filed Freedom of Information of Act (FOIA) requests, but thus far, these requests have not revealed much substance because what has been released is mostly irrelevant information.
• Only big business
The SPP responds only to the “recommendations” issued by the ad-hoc formed North American Competitive Council (NACC) with representatives almost exclusively from the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, The Business Roundtable in the U.S. and the Consejo Mexicano de Hombres de Negocios (Mexican Council of Businessmen). No other non government group has been invited to be a stakeholder of the SPP .
• Continuing Deregulation for Trade and Investment
The SPP is about cutting “red tape” for business and continuing economic deregulation through the further elimination of rules of origin, enhancing intellectual property rights and promoting investment opportunities for transnational corporations. So far only large corporations have benefited from increased trade and investment opportunities within NAFTA, and tens of thousands of small and medium companies that provide most of the employment in Mexico have closed because they are unable to compete. If this trend continues, Mexico will continue lacking a sound and endogenous economic and social development that provides for its people and their livelihoods. The deepening of economic policies that cause the elimination of the capacity of governments to promote the viability of local and national economies will increase the immigration pressure which in the context of the SPP is seen as an “internal threat” to US security. The response of strengthening border controls through the "harmonization" of security policies that violate civil liberties and basic human rights is unacceptable.
• Securing Energy for the United States
Beneath “a thin veneer of talk about ‘North American’ energy security, the real purpose of the SPP is to mobilize Mexican and Canadian energy resources to enhance US security” (RMALC, fact sheet on SPP and petroleum), through the installation of a North American integrated energy market in a deregulated context that guarantees supplies. In Mexico, conventional oil reserves are in decline, having fallen to just 11 years worth of production at the end of 2006. Despite public opposition and constitutional limits, Mexican governments have had the command for years to open up the Mexican energy sector to private investment and under the SPP this pressure is increased, “with a little privatizing help from oil transnationals”. Canada gave away its ability to control the levels of oil and gas exports to the US when it signed NAFTA and as result it is obliged to send 65% of its production stateside and needs to import 40% of its oil for domestic consumption .
• Energy and Environmental Concerns
In Canada, a major concern of environmentalists is the SPP goal to facilitate the extraction of oil, as well as the construction of oil pipelines from that country to the United States. Radio-Canada reported that Canadian officials promised to streamline environmental approvals to facilitate the expansion of oil production from tar sands from around one million barrels a day to five million barrels by 2030, with most of these extra barrels exported to the US. Oil extraction from tar sands has high environmental costs and critics warn that if the Canadian government were to tighten environmental standards related to this process, it could open the door to lawsuits from the U.S. corporations that are the primary investors in this sector.
• Violating Civil Liberties on the Borders.
The SPP provides for an ongoing process of negotiation on the terms of expanded border surveillance infrastructure with worrisome implications for civil liberties. It commits Canada to share vast amounts of information with the U.S. government, including the fingerprints of refugee and asylum seekers. This issue has become extremely controversial in light of the experience with Maher Arar, the Canadian detained by U.S. officials, wrongly accused of having links to terrorists, and rendered to Syria, where he was tortured for over a year. Already Canada and the US share a no fly list and other “intelligent borders” surveillance mechanisms.
• Towards a “Plan Mexico”
Recently, the governments of Mexico and the US have been negotiating a multiyear aid package supposed to combat drug cartels in Mexico. While the specifics of the aid package have not been made public, press reports state that elements of this aid package could include wire-tapping equipment, which without the necessary oversight may open the door to illegal spying activities on Mexican citizens, aircraft to transport Mexican anti-drug teams, and assorted training initiatives for Mexican officials. These talks have been mostly hidden from the media, legislators and the public until now given Mexican sensitivities about past US invasions and interventions on Mexican soil .
• Regulatory Convergence. Food Safety as an example.
The SPP includes the aim of harmonizing and developing common standards for food safety and the “elimination of identified differences”. This would put at greater peril the food sovereignty and food culture of peoples in the hemisphere and could mean an increased use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) across borders. The SPP will also promote an increased trade of agricultural products produced by large agro industrial corporations in a context where Mexican peasant groups are struggling for what remains of their livelihoods and against the total elimination of agricultural tariffs (in particular to basic grains like maize and beans) scheduled within NAFTA for January 1, 2008. In Canada, the government has announced that “Canadians will have to adapt to having more pesticides in their imported foods as it harmonizes [raising] the amount of allowable pesticides on imported fruit and vegetables to bring it in line with US and Mexican levels” .
• Strengthening the subordination of Mexico and Canada to the US
Several studies and critics charge that the SPP responds to the logic of deepening the relations of subordination of Mexico and Canada to the United States, and ensuring that the interests of large corporate interests of the US military-industrial complex are met. Far from a supranational government like the EU, governments operate behind doors but under the hegemony of the United States.
Contrary to what many conservative and anti immigration groups believe, the North American region will continue being dominated by the United States and the SPP is an instrument for economic and political control. Even at its early stages most dealings and agreements under the SPP umbrella have been carried out between the US and Mexico or the US and Canada and US regulations tend to be the standard for the processes of regulatory harmonization. Hence, the SPP serves to broaden the sphere of US extraterritorial influence and domination over the sovereignty of the territories and governance of its two neighbors.
Based on the recommendations of the big business-led NACC, the SPP will go much further than NAFTA in deregulating the economies of Mexico and Canada on behalf of corporate interests. This will in turn have a continued negative impact on Mexico’s endogenous economic development, which is the main cause for migration of millions to the United States.
Worse still, the SPP lacks democratic checks and balances and guarantees that economic and security directives go around Congress, the media, and civil society. If there is one thing that US progressive and conservative organizations have in common it is that they are all against the secrecy and undemocratic way the SPP has proceed since its inception. All disagree with the secretive meetings of elites, the lack of congressional oversight, public notice or comment, or accountability through established checks and balances. Any future integration, whatever its rationale, must define in the open its founding pillars and direction.
However, contrary to the outdated and unrealistic protectionist measures demanded by the conservatives, progressive organizations like the Trinational Network (made up of broad coalitions of trade activists in each country) will continue working for the ideal that the United States will someday honor the sovereignty of other countries and guarantee the protection and promotion of human rights and civil liberties for all. The SPP is the path which heads in the wrong direction.
- For official information on SPP see www.spp.gov
- Common Frontiers Canada, “Integration by Stealth, The Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP)”.
- Teresa Healy, Deep Integration in North America: Security and Prosperity for Whom?, Canadian Labour Congress, February 20, 2007.
- Red Mexicana de Acción frente al Libre Comercio. Cuaderno 7: “La Alianza para la Seguridad y la Prosperidad de América del Norte ASPAN / TLCAN Plus”, México 2007.
- John Saxe Fernandez, “Globalization and Security: The US ‘Imperial Presidency’: Global Impacts in Iraq and Mexico”, in Hans Günther Brauch, John Grin, Úrsula Oswald et al,(eds) Globalization and Envirnomental Challenges. Reconceptualizing Security in the 21st Century. Berlin-Heildelberg-New York-Hong-Kong-London-Milan-Paris-Tokio.Springer-Verlag (2007) in press.
- Sarah Anderson, John Cavanagh and Robin Broad “Just Livelihoods”, in “Just Security, and Alternative Foreign Policy Framework”, Foreign Policy In Focus, Institute of Policy Studies, June 2007.
- Sarah Anderson, John Cavanagh and Robin Broad, 2007
- James R. Edwards, Jr. Ph.D. “The Security and Prosperity Partnership; It’s Immigration Implications”. Center for Immigration Studies. Washington, D.C. June, 2007.
- See Jerome S. Corsi, “Meet Robert Pastor, the Father of the North American Union” in http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=16189. Human Events is a newspaper of the conservative movement.
- Edwards, 2007. Op Cit.
- SPP Myths and Facts. www.spp.gov
- Marcela Sanchez, The Washington Post, July 13, 2007.
- Panel of discussion on the Security and Prosperity Partnership, convened by Judicial Watch, National Press Club, Washington D.C., June 20th, 2007.
- Robert Pastor, “Montebello`s summit is less than it seems”, The Globe and Mail
- Joint Statement: Prime Minister Harper, President Bush and President Calderon. North American Leaders Summit.
- Jeff Faux, introduction to Campbell, Salas and Scott, “Revisiting NAFTA: Still not Working for North American Workers”. Economic Policy Institute, Briefing Paper #173, 2006.
- “Illegal immigrants are in Northern Virginia for the same reason that they are in so many other parts of the country: their labor is in demand. That’s not going to change, unless the powers that be in Price William and Loudoun (counties) have discovered a way to defeat market forces”. Nativism’s Toxic Cloud, The Washington Post editorial, July 22, 2007.
- Sarah Anderson, John Cavanagh, Robin Broad, Op. Cit.
- See Press Release: “Legislators and Civil Society Groups of the North American Region call for halt to Security and Prosperity Partnership and Replacement of NAFTA”, June 6, 2006. and Summary Report of “the 2nd North American Forum on a People Centered Approach to Trade, Ottawa, Canada, June 5th, 2006.
- North American Competitiveness Council, Initial Recommendations “Enhancing Competitiveness in Canada, Mexico and the United States; Private Sector priorities for the Security and Partnership of North America (SPP)”
- See “Enhancing Competitiveness in Canada, Mexico, and the United States; Private-Sector Priorities for the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP)” Initial Recommendations of the North American Competitiveness Council (NAAC)”, February 2007.
- See Press Statement “A Coup d’Etat lies behind the ‘Three Amigos’ SPP Summit”, The Trinational Network RQIC, RMALC, ART, Common Frontiers; members of the Hemispheric Social Alliance. August 17, 2007.
Appendix: Will the SPP Create a EU-style North America Union? Not really .
Media coverage of the SPP has focused largely on the degree to which North America as a region will emulate a European Union type of integration. The following frame distinguishes between some of the founding pillars of the historic construction of the European Union and the SPP of North America which is a continuation of the NAFTA economic model, but with the added component of providing a security framework under the US dominance.
|The European Union ||The NAFTA area under the SPP |
|Scope ||An expanding Political and Economic union (open to neighboring countries) ||A partnership for competitiveness of business and security among the US and exclusively with its two neighboring countries |
|Politically ||Political union to guarantee peace amongst its nations and neighbors ||Guarantee the security needs of the US under the Bush Administration’s “War on Terror” |
|Economically ||Common market based on common standards with a common currency ||Competitiveness for transnational companies based on free trade and exploiting comparative advantages |
|Institutions ||A myriad of political and economic institutions; parliament, commission, court, etc. ||No institutions; only the North American Competitiveness Council, a body for business consultation, has been created |
|Worker’s mobility ||Elimination of borders for the free mobility of people; union between Western and Eastern Europe symbolized by the removal of the Berlin Wall ||Only facilitate the flow of “legitimate” and “safe” transit. |
Immigration issue remains bilateral; hardening immigration policies; towards a wall between US and Mexico.
|Labor, Environmental, and Social standards ||EU member governments are required to uphold common and high standards. Financial and technical assistance are available to support compliance, but governments that continue to fail to enforce the standards can be penalized and, as a last resort, threatened with expulsion from the EU. ||NAFTA labor and environmental “side agreements” have weak enforcement mechanisms that have done virtually nothing to strengthen protections. NAFTA offers no support for monitoring or enforcement of labor rights. |
|Reduction of asymmetries and inequalities ||Transfer of massive funds for social cohesion and for reconstruction and development have leveled the Common Market playing field. ||Disparities have widened since NAFTA (see World Bank figures) and |
Mexico remains heavily indebted to US and IFI’s
|Public Participation ||Several avenues for civil society input in policymaking.1) the European Economic and Social Committee, 2) the social partnership process. ||NAAC, the business group, has the only official role in the SPP deliberation process. |