The North American Union

“Making North America Safer”

Security

The threat of international terrorismoriginates for the most part outside North America. Our external borders are a critical line of defense against this threat.Any weakness in controlling access to NorthAmerica from abroad reduces the security of the continent as a whole and exacerbates the pressure to intensify controls on intracontinental movement and traffic, which increases the transaction costs associated with trade and travel within North America.

September 11 highlighted the need for new approaches to border  management. In December 2001, Canada and the United States signed the Smart Border Declaration and an associated 30-point Action Plan to secure border infrastructure, facilitate the secure movement of people and goods, and share information. A similar accord, the United States-Mexico Border Partnership Agreement, and its 22-point Action Plan, were signed in March 2002. Both agreements included measures to facilitate faster border crossings for pre-approved travelers, develop and promote systems to identify dangerous people and goods, relieve congestion at borders, and revitalize cross-border cooperation mechanisms and information sharing. The three leaders pledged additional measures at their March 2005 summit meeting.

The defense of North America must also consist of a more intense level of cooperation among security personnel of the three countries, both within North America and beyond the physical boundaries of the continent. The Container Security Initiative, for example, launched bytheUnited States in thewake of 9/11, involves the useof intelligence, analysis, and inspection of containers not at the border but at a growing number of overseas ports from which goods are shipped. The ultimate goal is to provide screening of all containers destined for any port in North America, so that once unloaded from ships, containers may cross land borders within the region without the need for further inspections.

WHAT WE SHOULD DO NOW

• Establish a common security perimeter by 2010. The governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States should articulate as their long-term goal a common security perimeter for North America. In particular, the three governments should strive toward a situation in which a terrorist trying to penetrate our borders will have an equally hard time doing so, no matter which country he elects toenter first.Webelieve that thesemeasures should beextended to include a commitment to common approaches toward international negotiations on the global movement of people, cargo, and vessels. Like free trade a decade ago, a common security perimeter forNorthAmerica is anambitious but achievablegoal that will require specific policy, statutory, and procedural changes in all three nations.

• Develop a North American Border Pass. The three countries should develop a secure North American Border Passwith biometric identifiers. This document would allow its bearers expedited passage through customs, immigration, and airport security throughout the region. The program would be modeled on the U.S.-Canadian ‘‘NEXUS’’ and the U.S.-Mexican ‘‘SENTRI’’ programs, which provide ‘‘smart cards’’ to allow swifter passage to those who pose no risk. Only those who voluntarily seek, receive, and pay the costs for a security clearance would obtain a Border Pass. The pass would be accepted at all border points within North America as a complement to, but not a replacement for, national identity documents or passports.

• Develop a unified North American border action plan. The closing of the borders following the 9/11 attacks awakened all three governments to the need for rethinking management of the borders. Intense negotiations produced the bilateral ‘‘Smart Borders’’ agreements. Although the two borders are different and may in certain instances require policies that need to be implemented at two speeds, cooperation by the three governments in the following areas would
lead to a better result than a ‘‘dual-bilateral’’ approach:
 Harmonize visa and asylum regulations, including convergence
of the list of ‘‘visa waiver’’ countries;
 Harmonize entry screening and tracking procedures for people,
goods, andvessels (including integrationofname-basedandbiometric
watch lists);
 Harmonize exit and export tracking procedures;
 Fully share data about the exit and entry of foreign nationals; and
 Jointly inspect container traffic entering North American ports, building on the Container Security Initiative.

• Expand border infrastructure. While trade has nearly tripled across both borders since the Canadian-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and NAFTA were implemented, border customs facilities and crossing infrastructure have not kept pace with this increased demand. Even if 9/11 had not occurred, trade would be choked at the border. There have been significant new investments to speed processing along both theCanadian-U.S. andMexican-U.S. borders, but not enough to keep up with burgeoning demand and additional security requirements. The three governments should examine the options for additional border facilities and expedite their construction. In addition to allowing for continued growth in the volume of transborder traffic, such investments must incorporate the latest technology, and include facilities and procedures that move as much processing as possible away from the border.

WHAT WE SHOULD DO BY 2010

• Lay the groundwork for the freer flow of people withinNorth America. The three governments should commit themselves to the long-term goal of dramatically diminishing the need for the current intensity of the governments’ physical control of cross-border traffic, travel, and trade within North America. A long-term goal for a North American border action plan should be joint screening of travelers from third countries at their first point of entry into North America and the elimination of most controls over the temporary movement of these travelers within North America. Law Enforcement and Military Cooperation Security cooperation among the three countries should also extend to cooperation on counterterrorism and law enforcement, which would include the establishment of a trinational threat intelligence center, the development of trinational ballistics and explosives registration, and joint training for law enforcement officials.

As founding members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Canada and the United States are close military allies. When Canadian troops hunt terrorists and support democracy in Afghanistan, or when Canadian ships lead patrols in the Persian Gulf, they engage in the ‘‘forward defense’’ of North America by attacking the bases of support for international terrorism around the world.Although Mexico is not aNATOmember and does not share the same history ofmilitary cooperation, it has recently begun to consider closer collaboration on disaster relief and information-sharing about external threats. Defense cooperation, therefore, must proceed at two speeds toward a common goal. Wepropose thatMexico begin with confidence-building dialogue and information exchanges, moving gradually to further North American cooperation on issues such as joint threat assessment, peacekeeping operations, and eventually, a broader defense structure for the continent.

WHAT WE SHOULD DO NOW

• Expand NORAD into a multiservice Defense Command. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has for decades been the primary vehicle for expression of the unique defense alliance between Canada and the United States. As recommended in a report of the Canadian-U.S. Joint Planning Group, NORAD should evolve into amultiservice Defense Command that would expand the principle of Canadian-U.S. joint command to landandnaval aswell as air forcesengaged in defending the approaches toNorth America. In addition, Canada and the United States should reinforce other bilateral defense institutions, including the Permanent Joint Board on Defense and Joint PlanningGroup, and inviteMexico to send observers.

• Increase information and intelligence-sharing at the local and national levels in both law enforcement and military organizations. Law enforcement cooperation should be expanded from its current levels through the exchange of liaison teams and better use of automated systems for tracking, storing, and disseminating timely intelligence. This should be done immediately. In the area ofmilitary cooperation, collaboration can proceed more slowly, especially between U.S. and Mexican militaries. However, the ultimate goal needs to be the timely sharing of accurate information and intelligence and higher levels of cooperation. The United States and Canada should invite Mexico to consider more extensive information-sharing and collaborative planning involving military organizations and law enforcement as a means to build mutual trust and pave the way for closer cooperation in the future. Training and exercises should be developed to increase the cooperation and interoperability among and between the law enforcement agencies and militaries. These steps will provide better capabilities for detectionof threats, preventativeaction, crisis response, and consequence management.

At least one major trilateral exercise conducted by law enforcement authorities and one by the militaries should be established as a goal over the next year. Of course, the extent of cooperation will be affected by the progress of reform of the police forces, customs, and judicial branch in Mexico. In addition to the sharing of information, a Joint Analysis Center should be established immediately to serve as a clearing house for informationanddevelopment of products for supportinglawenforcement and, as appropriate, military requirements.

Copyright © 2005 by the Council on Foreign Relations, Inc.

United We Fall (12 Parts)

+———————–+———————————-+————————+

H. CON. RES. 40

Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should not engage in the construction of a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Superhighway System or enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada.

—————————————————————–

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 22, 2007

Mr. Goode (for himself, Mr. Wamp, Mr. Jones of North Carolina, Mr. Paul, Mr. Stearns, Mr. Duncan, and Ms. Foxx) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

—————————————————————–

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should not engage in the construction of a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Superhighway System or enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada. Whereas the United States Departments of State, Commerce, and Homeland Security participated in the formation of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) on March 23, 2005, representing a tri-lateral agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico designed, among other things, to facilitate common regulatory schemes between these countries; hereas reports issued by the SPP indicate that it has implemented regulatory changes among the three countries that circumvent United States trade, transportation, homeland security, and border security functions and that the SPP will continue to do so in the future;

Whereas the actions taken by the SPP to coordinate border security by eliminating obstacles to migration between Mexico and the United States actually makes the United States-Mexico border less secure because Mexico is the primary source country of illegal immigrants into the United States; Whereas according to the Department of Commerce, United States trade deficits with Mexico and Canada have significantly increased since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); Whereas the economic and physical security of the United States is impaired by the potential loss of control of its borders attendant to the full operation of NAFTA and the SPP;

Whereas the regulatory and border security changes implemented and proposed by the SPP violate and threaten United States sovereignty; Whereas a NAFTA Superhighway System from the west coast of Mexico through the United States and into Canada has been suggested as part of a North American Union to facilitate trade between the SPP countries; Whereas the State of Texas has already begun planning of the Trans-Texas Corridor, a major multi-modal transportation project beginning at the United States-Mexico border, which would serve as an initial section of a NAFTA Superhighway System; Whereas it could be particularly difficult for Americans to collect insurance from Mexican companies which employ Mexican drivers involved in accidents in the United States, which would likely increase the insurance rates for American drivers;

Whereas future unrestricted foreign trucking into the United States can pose a safety hazard due to inadequate maintenance and inspection, and can act collaterally as a conduit for the entry into the United States of illegal drugs, illegal human smuggling, and terrorist activities; and Whereas a NAFTA Superhighway System would likely include funds from foreign consortiums and be controlled by foreign management, which threatens the sovereignty of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That—

(1) the United States should not engage in the construction of a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Superhighway System;

(2) the United States should not allow the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) to implement further regulations that would create a North American Union with Mexico and Canada; and

(3) the President of the United States should indicate strong opposition to these acts or any other proposals that threaten the sovereignty of the United States.

+———————–+———————————-+————————+

H. CON. RES. 487

Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should not engage in the construction of a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Superhighway System or enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada.

—————————————————————–

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 28, 2006

Mr. Goode (for himself, Mr. Paul, Mr. Jones of North Carolina, and Mr. Tancredo) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on International Relations, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

—————————————————————–

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should not engage in the construction of a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Superhighway System or enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada. Whereas, according to the Department of Commerce, United States trade deficits with Mexico and Canada have significantly widened since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); Whereas the economic and physical security of the United States is impaired by the potential loss of control of its borders attendant to the full operation of NAFTA; Whereas a NAFTA Superhighway System from the west coast of Mexico through the United States and into Canada has been suggested as part of a North American Union;

Whereas it would be particularly difficult for Americans to collect insurance from Mexican companies which employ Mexican drivers involved in accidents in the United States, which would increase the insurance rates for American drivers; Whereas future unrestricted foreign trucking into the United States can pose a safety hazard due to inadequate maintenance and inspection, and can act collaterally as a conduit for the entry into the United States of illegal drugs, illegal human smuggling, and terrorist activities; and Whereas a NAFTA Superhighway System would be funded by foreign consortiums and controlled by foreign management, which threatens the sovereignty of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That—

(1) the United States should not engage in the construction of a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Superhighway System;

(2) the United States should not enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada; and

(3) the President should indicate strong opposition to these or any other proposals that threaten the sovereignty of the United States.

North American leaders end summit with pact on import safety

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The leaders of Canada, the United States and Mexico ended a two-day summit in Quebec Tuesday with a pledge to crack down on unsafe goods flowing into North America, while working to make the two borders more efficient and secure. The move follows recent safety scares linked to Chinese-made products, including unsafe food additives, toothpaste and toys. “We agreed to work together on consumer protection. We have to identify and stop unsafe goods from entering our countries, especially those designed for our children,” said Stephen Harper. The Canadian prime minister, U.S. President George W. Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon spent more than an hour answering questions at the summit’s final news conference at the posh Fairmont Le Château Montebello, along the Ottawa River.

Security and trade issues dominated the summit as the prime minister and the two presidents met Tuesday with a council of corporate executives, who are pushing for broader co-ordination across North America, from regulatory standards to emergency planning. “Their leaders provided us with important information on how we could exploit our partnership in the field of security and prosperity to strengthen our economics and to create good jobs here in North America,” said Harper. The fact that a meeting was held with the North American Competitiveness Council was a key complaint from critics of the summit, who are upset that their elected leaders are only listening to the corporate elite and refusing to hear from social activists, environmentalists and others. Harper said the three agreed to ensure that security measures imposed in the future do not hurt trade between the countries. “We realize border security must not threaten the friendly relations that we have,” said Harper.

Meetings key to prosperity: leaders

The three men also defended the annual meeting as crucial to the prosperity of the three countries, citing NAFTA with creating more jobs and wealth. Calderon said the meeting has confirmed his belief that North America hasn’t yet reached its full potential. “Canada, the U.S. and Mexico have to act together not only to improve the lives of our people but also to prevent the fast integration process that we’ve seen in other parts of the world…Asia, Europe, specifically,” said Calderon. The leaders downplayed criticism that the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, which boosts co-operation in the areas of security, trade and public-health, will lead to a North American union, similar to the European Union. “Look, we have an enormous commercial, trading relationship,” said Harper, who said such criticism in Canada comes from opposition politicians. “It’s important we get together for discussions.” Bush said the criticism is a longstanding and common political scare tactic — setting up a conspiracy theory and challenging others to prove it doesn’t exist. “Some like to frighten our fellow citizens into believing relations … are harmful,” said Bush. “I just believe they are wrong … It’s in our interest to work out common problems for the good of our people.” Bush also addressed Harper as “Stephen” on Tuesday, a change from a much-publicized 2006 news conference where he repeatedly called him “Steve.”

Afghanistan, Arctic on agenda

The three leaders also covered a number of other issues during the closing news conference. Bush praised Canada’s role in Afghanistan, where more than 2,500 Canadian soldiers are serving. Harper on Monday told Bush that Canada would likely not continue in a combat role in the country past February 2009 without a consensus in Parliament. “I believe Canada is doing a fabulous job in Afghanistan,” said Bush. “Canada’s contribution is more than combat. It’s helping to build institutions.” Bush and Harper also acknowledged their difference of opinion on the sovereignty of the Northwest Passage — a claim disputed by numerous countries including the United States, Japan and the European Union. Harper restated his position that Canada intends to strengthen its sovereignty in the region, while Bush repeated he believes the waterway is in international territory. “There are differences,” said Bush. “The U.S. doesn’t question Canadian sovereignty over its Arctic islands and supports Canadian investment to exercise its sovereignty.”  The leaders also pledged to work to find “practical solutions” to environmental challenges, including climate change and energy supplies.

Calderon leaves early

The closing news conference came earlier than expected so that Calderon could return to Mexico to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Dean, a massive storm that is pounding the Yucatan peninsula. Calderon said he had received no word of deaths caused by Dean, but that he was waiting for word from more rural and isolated areas of Mexico. No protesters showed up Tuesday outside the Château Montebello resort where the prime minister and presidents wrapped up their two-day meeting. About 1,200 demonstrators had gathered at the site on Monday, protesting against the war in Iraq, human rights and closer economic ties within North America. One carried a banner that said, “Say No To Americanada.”

In a joint statement issued Tuesday, the leaders agreed to:

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s