Category Archives: North American Union

A North American Security Perimeter on the Horizon

beyourownleader.blogspot.com | Jan 10, 2010

By Dana Gabriel

NAFTA has extended from economic integration into a political and regional security pact which has been achieved through the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America, Plan Mexico, as well as other initiatives. Various pieces of legislation and reports, along with influential individuals have called for closer trilateral cooperation regarding common rules for immigration and security enforcement around the perimeter of the continent. A major part of the U.S. security agenda already includes the defense of North America, but a full blown security zone would bring Canada and Mexico further under U.S. control. A Fortress North America poses a serious threat to our sovereignty and would mean the loss of more civil liberties

Plans for a North America security perimeter might have seemed like a pipe dream just a short time ago, but it could become a reality sooner than one thinks. Some believe that a perimeter approach to security would be a more effective way of providing safety while ensuring the free flow of trade and investment. For those pushing for deep continental integration, this move is seen as the next logical step. A recent article from the Toronto Star, Canada warms to idea of a tougher ‘perimeter’ suggests that Canadians might now be ready to debate the concept of perimeter security. David Biette who specializes in U.S.-Canada relations and is a member of the Woodrow Wilson Center stated that a, “Perimeter is no longer a dirty word. It’s beginning to come up again, at least in academic circles.” He went on to say, “Canada held back when it first came up and I can certainly understand why. There was still such bad feeling left over on free trade and what that might mean for Canadian sovereignty that perimeter security was just not palatable to Canadians.” Biette also added, “You ask yourself, ‘What would a mutually improved relationship look like?’ and really, there is nothing else. Perimeter is the one big thing – the last truly huge step on the horizon.” A North American security perimeter would be one of the final steps needed in the creation of a North American Union.

Some of the recommendations from the 2005 report, Building a North American Community co-sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, included a unified border, a North American border pass, a single economic space, as well as a common security perimeter by 2010. Many of the task force recommendations in areas of trade, transportation, energy, immigration and security became part of the SPP agenda. Despite the demise of the SPP, many of its key objectives continue to move forward under the North American Leaders Summit, as well as through other initiatives. In February of 2009, it was reported that former Canadian international trade and foreign affairs minister, David Emerson, “called on the government to aggressively seek stronger Canada-U.S. ties, up to and including a customs union. He said at minimum, Canada should advocate a North American security perimeter arrangement, a labour mobility agreement that modernizes NAFTA provisions, and greater integration on regulatory matters.” U.S. officials remain concerned on how risk assessments of people entering Canada are conducted as well as the differences in its immigration and visa policies. A common perimeter approach to border management and security would require harmonization of Canadian-U.S. immigration and customs standards.

It was clear before Obama became president that he wished to relax immigration restrictions with Mexico and supported some sort of amnesty program. In mid-December of last year, H.R. 4321 the Comprehensive Immigration Reform ASAP Act of 2009 was introduced in the House of Representatives. The Obama administration has been criticized for its lack of immigration enforcement. Many have warned that the new legislation would not only grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, but also increase legal immigration and create more loopholes in the system. In Sec. 143. Reports on Improving the Exchange of Information on North American Security, there is wording which could further promote deep continental integration. This includes yearly status reports, “in developing and implementing an immigration security strategy for North America that works toward the development of a common security perimeter.” Previous failed security and immigration bills also contained similar language referring to a shared security perimeter around the continent.

The Merida Initiative, also known as Plan Mexico is an extension of NAFTA and has its roots in the SPP. It is based on America’s failed war on drugs, which has been costly and ineffective. The Merida Initiative relies primarily on military and law enforcement solutions and is advancing police state measures. In a recent interview, Laura Carlsen director of the Americas Policy Program in Mexico City described how Plan Mexico, “was designed in Washington as a way to ‘push out the borders’ of the US security perimeter, that is, that Mexico would take on US security priorities including policing its southern border and allowing US companies and agents into Mexico’s intelligence and security operations.” She also commented that, “The Obama administration has supported the plan and even requested, and received from Congress, additional funds beyond what the Bush administration requested.” The Plan Mexico strategy is working towards the development of a common security perimeter and is further encouraging the militarization of Mexico. Continued drug violence in the country could be used as a pretext to set up a North American security perimeter

The recent foiled terrorist attack on Christmas day is accelerating the implementation of a high-tech control grid which could restrict, track and trace our movements. With the war on terrorism back in the forefront, the continued merging of North America might include Canada and Mexico playing a bigger role in regards to perimeter security. Canadian officials have announced that within the next several months, body scanners will be installed in 11 airports across the country. Some proponents of a continental security zone believe that it is the best way to secure North America, but at the same time falsely claim that this could be done with respect to each nation’s sovereignty. We are well on the way towards a North American security perimeter where trade and investment will be able to roam freely, while we are all forced to endure new security practices dominated by U.S. interests. Posted by permission from Dana Gabriel

Related articles by Dana Gabriel
Police State Canada 2010 and the Dark Side of the Olympics
U.S.-Canada Border Security and Military Integration
The SPP and Merging Command Structures
Afghanistan: Canada Must Pursue a More Independent Foreign Policy

Building Blocks Towards an Asia-Pacific Union

NAU Resistance | Nov 30, 2009

By Dana Gabriel

Although some may have viewed President Barack Obama’s recent Asian trip as uneventful and perhaps unsuccessful, he appears to have recommitted to the principles of globalization as the answer to the world’s economic woes. Obama declared his intentions for the U.S. to be fully engaged in Asia economically, politically, and in areas of security. He announced that America would join negotiations for a Trans-Pacific deal. This could be used as an opportunity for the U.S. to reassert its leadership in regards to trade initiatives and might also serve as a stepping stone for a larger free trade agreement.

The recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit was held in Singapore and marked its 20th anniversary. It brought together world leaders, foreign, finance and trade ministers, along with other delegates from its 21 member nations. APEC was founded to promote greater trade and integration in the region, but its scope has expanded to include environmental, climate change, energy, as well as other issues. In a Statement by APEC Leaders, they agreed to a new growth paradigm for the Asia-Pacific region, endorsed the goals of the G20 Framework and rejected protectionism. The Leaders, “launched a pathfinder initiative led by Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States to practice self-certification of origin so that businesses can better take advantage of free trade agreements in the region.” This is in an effort to cut costs for exporters and further boost trade. APEC Leaders also agreed to, “continue to explore building blocks towards a possible Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific in the future.”

While on his eight-day Asian tour, which included stops in Japan, Singapore, China, as well as South Korea, President Obama recommitted to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It was President George W. Bush who first pledged U.S. participation in the TPP. The trade deal was put on hold pending a review of U.S. trade policy. A government fact sheet describes the TPP as a, “potential platform for economic integration across the Asia Pacific region. The United States will engage with an initial group of seven like-minded countries, Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei, Australia, Peru, and Vietnam, to craft a platform for a high-standard, comprehensive agreement – one that reflects U.S. priorities and values – with these and additional Asia-Pacific partners.” Australia will host TPP negotiation sessions in March of next year and a trade treaty could be in place by 2011. Many nations in the region are already bound by various regional and bilateral trade agreements. Expanding the TPP would further distinguish it as the only regional free trade agreement that spans both sides of the Pacific, linking Asia with the Americas. It could also gradually evolve into an Asia-Pacific free trade zone and include APEC members, as well as other nations. Such an undertaking is seen as years away, but U.S. participation in the TPP could speed up such plans.

The United States Trade Representative website reported that after the APEC Summit, “USTR staff and their TPP country counterparts met to discuss work that would need to be done to develop proposals to fill gaps in previous trade agreements and to shape a 21st century trade agreement. These discussions will inform consultations with Congress and with stakeholders about how best to move forward on TPP.” In his article above referenced, Jim Capo noted that, “For the US to undertake negotiations for a trade agreement Congress has first to grant approval to start specific negotiations, and has also to grant Trade Promotion Authority to enable the Executive to conclude the negotiations and put an agreement to Congress with a yes or no vote, without amendments.” He goes on to say that, “There has been no formal Congress approval of TPPA negotiation, President Bush’s Trade Promotion Authority has also expired in March 2007. This means the current US administration has no approval to start negotiation and no authority to conclude them.”

Ahead of the APEC Summit, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd proposed an Asia-Pacific Community by 2020. The regional group would be based on the European Union-style model. It would go beyond APEC and encompass not only economic, but political and security issues. In October of this year, Republican Senator Richard Lugar announced his intentions to introduce legislation aimed at negotiating a free trade agreement with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The first ASEAN-U.S. Leaders meeting was held in Singapore on November 15. In a Joint Statement the U.S., “welcomed ASEAN’s plans to achieve an ASEAN Community by 2015 based on the ASEAN Charter, and reaffirmed its commitment to support those plans.” ASEAN and the U.S. also agreed to hold a second Leaders meeting in 2010.

On his Asian trip, Obama emphasized the need to strengthen old alliances as well as build new partnerships in the region. He said, “the growth of multilateral organizations can advance the security and prosperity of the region.” He also added, “As an Asia-Pacific nation the United States expects to be involved in the discussions that shape the future of this region and to participate fully in appropriate organizations as they are established and evolve.” In his article above referenced, Jim Capo noted that, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is the sister agreement to the Trans-Atlantic Agenda. Together with NAFTA and the North American Leaders Summit (new name for the discredited SPP), these deals are building blocks for an integrated system of global governance managed by Western financial interests and their collaborators around the world.”

Dana Gabriel is an activist and independent researcher. He writes about trade, globalization, sovereignty, as well as other issues.

Contact:beyourownleader@hotmail.com
Visit his blog site at: beyourownleader.blogspot.com

Passing on the Mantle of Deep North American Integration

Deep North American Integration

nauresistance.org | Nov 3, 2009

By Dana Gabriel

With the demise of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America and the restructuring of many of its key priorities under the banner of the North American Leaders Summit, other trilateral initiatives are also passing on the mantle of deep continental integration.

The Fifth Annual North American Forum was held in Ottawa on October 4-6, 2009.  In a news release the group describes itself as, “a community of Canadian, Mexican and American thought leaders whose purpose is to advance a shared vision of North America, and to contribute to improved relations among the three countries.”  It goes on to say that, “They come together annually to explore linkages among the mutually reinforcing goals of security, prosperity and enhanced quality of life.”  Meetings are co-chaired by former U.S. Secretary of State, George Schultz, former Premier of Alberta, Peter Lougheed, as well as former Mexican Finance Minister Pedro Aspe.  The North American Forum has no business office and no business address.  It consists of the three co-chairs, along with their extensive network of contacts in government, business and the military, meeting privately to champion North American integration.  The news release also stated that, “This year’s meeting of the North American Forum focused on the need for Canada, Mexico and the United States to work together in responding to the global economic crisis and promoting a quick return to strong and sustainable growth.  In addition, the Forum included special sessions on two critical issues: one on energy and the environment, and the other on transnational crime, arms smuggling and drug trafficking.”  The North American Forum has been described as a parallel structure to the SPP.

The Standing Commission on North American Prosperity is an initiative of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce and directly relates to the ongoing efforts to further merge North America.  The group characterizes itself as “an united effort of distinguished individuals from Mexico, Canada and the USA to provide sound economic and social policy guidance to the political leaders of the three countries for the future prosperity of all peoples of North America.”  It notes that, “In the aftermath of NAFTA and the SPP initiatives, a vacuum presently exists in developing a vision for North American prosperity.  The lack of such a vision jeopardizes previous achievements in building strong economic ties across North America made during the past 15 years.”  It also states that, “The Commission will meet 3 times a year and will provide ‘A North American Prosperity’ White paper to the leaders of the three countries upon conclusion of each session.”  The group’s inaugural Summit was held at Georgia’s Kennesaw State University on May 12-13, 2009.

The Future of North America Summit presented by the Standing Commission on North American Prosperity was scheduled to take place on November 2-3 of this year in Toronto, Canada.  It was reported that the Summit was cancelled, but there is no indication if it will take place at a later date.  The meetings would have included the participation of past political heavyweights such as former Mexican President Vicente Fox, former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, as well as former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos Escobar.  The agenda would have dealt with economic, environmental and climate change, energy, trade, transportation, along with other issues and how they relate to North America.  In a recent article Manuel Pérez-Rocha, director of the NAFTA Plus and the SPP Advocacy Project, raised some valid questions concerning the meetings.  He stated, “Are we going back to the future?  Why are these former leaders ‘representing’ countries they don’t run any more?  Is their purpose to dictate to our actual presidents what to do to build North America?  Why was ex president Lagos from Chile invited at all?”  What is clear is that with the SPP no longer the vehicle being used to create a North American Union, other groups and initiatives are further advancing deep continental integration.

The 2009 meeting of the NAFTA Free Trade Commission was held in Dallas, Texas on October 19 of this year and brought together top trade officials from the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  The meeting was used as an opportunity to celebrate NAFTA’s achievements and to plot a course for the future.  Manuel Pérez-Rocha stated, “What the three governments are really doing is incorporating the already-buried, George W. Bush-led Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) agenda into NAFTA.  While current presidents are stripping the SPP label, which has garnered much negative publicity, they’re keeping its principles to armor NAFTA as an instrument for further deregulation.”  He also said that, “the merging of the SPP prosperity agenda into NAFTA is evident, especially after the recent Dallas meeting.  In their declaration, the trade officials stated that since 2007, the three countries have worked together to protect and enforce intellectual property rights.  This was one of the SPP’s plans, together with a ‘framework for regulatory cooperation,’ a ‘North American plan for avian and pandemic influenza,’ and an ‘agreement for cooperation on energy science and technology,’ which are also well under way.”  Mexico is scheduled to host the next NAFTA Commission meeting in 2010.  Despite the demise of the SPP, many of its key objectives have already been implemented or continue to move forward through other initiatives.

Speaking at the annual policy forum of the Canadian American Business Council held in Montreal on October 21, U.S. ambassador to Canada David Jacobson said that there are no immediate plans to reopen NAFTA.  He also echoed Washington’s sentiments that the trade agreement is working well for all sides.  This could not be further from the truth as NAFTA is badly flawed.  Minus a few cosmetic changes that the Obama administration might make regarding side deals related to labor and the environment, the reality is that NAFTA will remain intact.  The NAFTA structure is also being used to advance SPP objectives.  All the talk of renegotiating the agreement appears to have revived the 15 year old trade accord and renewed the push for North American integration.  This could lead to NAFTA’s expansion into a North American Union and might serve to further spread its failed model to other parts of the Western Hemisphere.

Dana Gabriel is an activist and independent researcher. He writes about trade, globalization, sovereignty, as well as other issues. Contact: beyourownleader@hotmail.com

Visit his blog site at beyourownleader.blogspot.com

Insider reveals secrets of North American Union plot

Insider reveals secrets of North America plot

No ‘conspiracy theory,’ scheme hatched by CFR was sold to Bush, now Obama

WorldNetDaily | Oct 23, 2009

By Jerome R. Corsi

NEW YORK – The integration of the United States with Canada and Mexico, long deemed by many as little more than a fanciful “conspiracy theory,” was actually an idea promoted by the Council on Foreign Relations and sold to President Bush as a means of increasing commerce and business interests throughout North America, according to a top Canadian businessman.

Thomas d’Aquino, CEO and president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives – the Canadian counterpart to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – confirmed in an interview recently published in Canada the accuracy of what WND first reported over three years ago: namely, that the Council on Foreign Relations was the prime mover in establishing the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP.

Published by the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel Oct. 4, the d’Aquino interview verifies that the creation of the SPP was not a “conspiracy theory” but a well-thought-out North American integration plan launched by his organization, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, along with the Council on Foreign Relations in the United States.

According to d’Aquino, President Obama wants to continue North American integration under the renamed North American Leaders Summit, provided the North American Competitiveness Council can be recast to include more environmentalists and union leaders.

In the interview, d’Aquino traced the origin of SPP to his concerns, following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, that “there was a pressing need to keep the border open for commerce while simultaneously addressing the security needs of the United States and North America as a whole.”

With this goal in mind, d’Aquino explained that the CCCE by 2003 had “launched an agenda that we called the North American Security and Prosperity Initiative, or NASPI.”

As WND reported in July 2007, the term “Security and Prosperity” was first used by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives in a January 23, 2003, report titled “Security and Prosperity: Toward a New Canada-United States Partnership in North America.”

Then, in 2003, d’Aquino brought the idea to Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

“I helped convince Richard Haass at the Council on Foreign Relations that we should put together a trilateral task force to look at the future of North America,” d’Aquino said. “We recruited John Manley on Canada’s side, along with William Weld, former governor of Massachusetts, and Pedro Aspe, the former Mexican economy minister, who had been so influential in promoting NAFTA.”

The result was a CFR Task Force on the Future of North America created on Oct. 15, 2004, and chaired by Manley, Weld and Aspe, precisely as d’Aquino had recommended to Haass.

The CFR Task Force on the Future of North America issued an executive summary, titled “Creating a North American Community,” that was issued March 14, 2005, just days before the March 23, 2005, trilateral summit at Waco, Texas, in which President George W. Bush, then-Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and then-Mexican President Vicente Fox declared the Security and Prosperity Partnership on their own authority, without any approval from the U.S. Congress.

The final task force report, titled “Building a North American Community,” was issued in March 2005, immediately following the Waco summit. (Read highlights of the controversial 59-page CFR report – including calls for increased financial aid to Mexico, the creation of a security border perimeter around all of North America, a reduction in border security between the U.S. and Mexico, and the creation of a new North American tribunal to settle disputes.)

D’Aquino agrees that the Council on Foreign Relations task force was instrumental to the trilateral summit in Waco during which the SPP’s existence was declared, saying in the interview: “The result of all these efforts [by the CFR Task Force on the Future of North America] was that in 2005, Prime Minister Martin, President Bush and President Fox decided to sign what they called the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America – the SPP.”

WND has consistently reported that the two reports issued by the CFR Task Force on the Future of North America constituted the “blueprint” for the SPP unveiled at the Waco summit meeting.

The final CFR report included on page xvii a concise statement of purpose: “The Task Force’s central recommendation is establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community, the boundaries of which would be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter.”

D’Aquino also confirmed, as WND had previously reported, that the North American Competitiveness Council was hand-picked by the Chambers of Commerce in the three countries, without any legislative approval from any of the three nations.

“At their next summit meeting, in 2006, the three leaders invited leading members of the CEO communities in the three countries to provide private-sector input on issues related to competitiveness,” he continued. “From that idea, the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC) was born, to be composed of 10 frontline CEOs from each of Canada, the United States and Mexico.” That plan was implemented.

“We produced 10 of our most senior CEOs while the Americans established an executive committee of 15 representing a broad range of large companies with rotating memberships. The Mexicans produced some heavy-duty people – many names you know well.”

As WND reported at the time, the North American Competitiveness Council dominated the third annual SPP summit meeting held in Montebello, Quebec, in Aug. 2007, a fact confirmed by the interview with d’Aquino.

“The first meeting of the NACC with the three leaders took place in Montebello, Quebec, in 2007,” d’Aquino acknowledged. “Our Mexican and American counterparts graciously asked us to write the first NACC report. It was very well received, albeit heavily criticized by unions on the left and others as elitist: ‘Why did these people have access to the national leaders while everyone else was left out?'”

The NACC continued to advise SPP leaders behind closed doors at the fourth annual SPP summit meeting held in New Orleans, in April 2008, as WND reported and as d’Aquino now confirms: “The second meeting of the NACC with the three leaders took place at their summit in New Orleans in 2008 – we were in the room with the leaders for a full hour and a half.”

Whereas Bush was sold on the SPP initiative as a means of enhancing business and commerce in North America, d’Aquino explained, Obama would continue with the SPP only if more environmentalists and union leaders were included in the private advisory group that had consisted entirely of business leaders under the aegis of the NACC.

“When President Obama came to power, he faced a lot of pressure to shelve the SPP and not follow through with the NACC because his advisers were looking for an institution that would also involve environmentalists, union leaders, et al.”

D’Aquino argued that the NACC should continue, and, as WND has reported, the Obama administration is continuing the previous administration’s pursuit of North American integration.

“But at the North American Leaders Summit in Guadalajara this summer, President Calderon and Prime Minister Harper both told President Obama that the NACC was very useful,” d’Aquino said. “In fact, the Canadian NACC group met with our prime minister and his key ministers for an hour and a half on the eve of his departure for the Guadalajara summit. He said that, regardless of whether the NACC continues formally on a trilateral basis, he welcomes our advice on trilateral issues.”

NAFTA leaders urged to rein in ‘buy local’ impulses

  • Obama urged to clarify Buy American guidelines
  • Canada, Mexico also should resist ‘buy local’ rules
  • Avoid carbon tariffs, open U.S. to Mexican trucks

Reuters | Aug 7, 2009

By Doug Palmer

WASHINGTON, Aug 7 (Reuters) – North American business groups urged leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada on Friday to rein in “buy local” provisions they called a threat to free trade and economic growth.

“In this global economic downturn, it is imperative that the three countries work together more intensively than ever to make the most of their strengths and set the stage for robust and sustained economic recovery,” the North American Competitiveness Council said.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon will host U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Sunday and Monday in Guadalajara for an annual meeting of North American leaders.

The advisory group made up of leading U.S., Mexican and Canadian business associations had its sternest advice for Obama, who they urged direct his administration to “clarify its intent and interpretation” of Buy American provisions passed as part of the $787 billion economic stimulus bill.

Obama, responding to an international outcry over the measure, persuaded Congress to exempt free-trade partners like Canada and Mexico from the strict requirement that public works projects funded by the bill use only U.S.-made goods.

But state and local governments carrying out stimulus projects can sidestep that instruction because they are not bound by international pacts. That has caused project delays and prompted some Canadian city and provincial governments to consider banning U.S. goods in Canadian projects.

Critics say the Buy American provisions also are at odds with the spirit of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which phased out tariffs among the three countries beginning in 1994 and promoted greater economic integration.

CONSISTENT WITH U.S. OBLIGATIONS

The advisory group urged the White House to make clear that when state and local governments “engage in procurement with the support of federal funds,” they award any contracts in a manner consistent with U.S. trade obligations and the April 2 pledge Obama and other G20 leaders made not to raise any new barriers to trade and investment.

“For the same reasons, we urge provinces and municipalities in Canada not to proceed with ‘buy local’ requirements for public procurement that have been proposed in that country,” the group said, adding a better approach would be for the countries to negotiate reciprocal access to government contracts at the state, provincial and city level.

“We have similar concerns about the new “Buy Mexican” program, but recognize that it is confined to an awareness campaign rather than an active policy,” the group said.

Other recommendations included:

* Full implementation of a long-delayed U.S. commitment to allow Mexican trucks to operate in the United States.

* Rejection of a “carbon tax” on imports from countries judged not to be doing enough to fight global warming.

* Stronger regulatory cooperation among the three countries, and rigorous protection of intellectual property rights essential to innovation and economic growth. (Editing by Philip Barbara)

Former president of Mexico calls for a North American Union at underreported summit

Vicente_Fox_Kennesaw

Former President of Mexico Vicente Fox delivers the keynote speech during the Commission on North American Prosperity Public Forum at Kennesaw State University on Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Laura Moon

Mexican leader calls for unity

Marietta Daily Journal | May 13, 2009

By Talia Mollett

MARIETTA – Former Mexican President Vicente Fox pushed Tuesday for forming a union between Canada, Mexico and the United States. Fox was the keynote speaker at Kennesaw State University’s inaugural summit on the Commission of North American Prosperity, or North America 2050.

Related

Vicente Fox headlines “North American Prosperity” summit at Kennesaw State on May 12

“It was this leading nation (the United States) that came up with the idea to convince every other nation to open its market and borders. It was this leading nation that said this was the path to go. We saw the Coca Colas, hamburgers and cars coming into our county and we were frightened because we were concerned about losing jobs. We were afraid of opening our markets because we didn’t feel self-sufficient and competitive enough,” he said. “It was very difficult in the beginning, but today Mexico is a competitive country with more trade agreements than any other country. We’re a very solid and strong contributor to this economy.”

Referencing the European Union, Fox said the common market is both powerful and productive.

“The most powerful tool in their market is the cohesive fund. Each country contributes 2 percent of their gross national product, which is invested in underdeveloped areas and poor families. This is the core of their strength,” he said. “I want a better future for North America.”

Looking down the road, Fox said he believes in 20 years the “dreams of our founding fathers will be fulfilled with freedom and better distribution of wealth.”

Fox also addressed drug violence in Mexico on Tuesday, saying that the United States’ consumption has encouraged a continual problem. Discussion panelist U.S. Col. Eric Rojo, international consultant on border security, concurred.

“We’re very good at blaming Mexico for drugs, but we consume them. As long as there is demand for jobs and drugs, there will be a supply and no army can stop them. All these expenditures on security are a waste of money,” Rojo said. “Security is about trust, and today we have a lack of trust. Unfortunately, we go to whipping posts like Lou Dobbs and they fuel the ignorance. The largest bridge we need to cross is the ignorance amongst ourselves.”

Dr. Peter Appleton, who represented Canada, said leaders should look for similarities among the countries when trying to solve problems. Appleton is the president of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce.

“I think it’s important that we talk about common concerns so we can find common solutions. If ever there was a match in theory that was made in heaven, it is North America. Canada and Mexico both have the oil supply and the United States needs resources. Why can’t we work together? Ronald Regan took down the Berlin wall and we’ve spent the last 10 years putting one up. Where’s the logic in that? How is that fair?”

Dr. Robert Pastor, professor of international studies at American University, said closing the borders to the U.S. would be self-defeating.

“A country that opens itself to the world will do better. The best way to improve the lives of your people and to protect your sovereignty is to open yourself to the world,” he said. “The European Union called on all people to unite. North America didn’t do anything like that with NAFTA. We didn’t have a spiritual vision past anything other than a business contract.”

Economists predict China will have the largest economy in the world by 2040, eclipsing the United States, which will slip into second place. India will move up to third place and Mexico is expected to rank fifth, Fox said.

The United States has the opportunity to remain on top by joining with its northern and southern neighbors to form North America, he said.

“If we’re going to have a partnership between the U.S. and Mexico, we need to do it all the way, not just in places,” Fox said. “My vision is that if we work together, use our minds and plan for the future, those numbers in 2040 will be different.”

Panelists also fielded questions from the audience at yesterday’s summit. Audience members asked why Mexican trucks had trouble crossing into the United States, how did Canada benefit from NAFTA and whether it was realistic to push for immigration reform with the current state of the economy, among other questions.

Joan Manning, of Marietta, listened intently at the summit.

“I’m impressed by what considerate minds they are and by their tolerance and desire to improve the relations between nations and living conditions among the poor. They’re also looking to the future and not just stopping at today. I came primarily because I wanted to hear Vicente Fox, but I really have enjoyed and learned a lot from these men.”

Fox also delivered the keynote address for Emory University’s 164th commencement ceremony on Monday.

Vicente Fox headlines “North American Prosperity” summit at Kennesaw State on May 12

Bush_Fox_Harper

President Bush meeting with President Vicente Fox and Prime Minister Stephen Harper for the 2006 North American Security and Prosperity Partnership summit.

Vicente Fox headlines international summit at Kennesaw State on May 12

“Making North America Work – The Future of Canada, USA, Mexico Relations.”

Kennesaw State University | May 7, 2009

MEDIA ADVISORY

Former President of Mexico and other thought-leaders discuss the future of Canada‚ U.S. and Mexico relations

KENNESAW‚ Ga. (May 7‚ 2009) — Kennesaw State University will host the inaugural summit of the Commission for North American Prosperity – also referred to as North America 2050 – on Tuesday‚ May 12. The event will feature a keynote address from Vicente Fox‚ former president of the United States of Mexico and president of Centro Fox.

WHO: Kennesaw State University is serving as the host facility for the meeting‚ in partnership with the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce‚ Centro Fox‚ and the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Center. Summit Leaders include:

• Vicente Fox‚ former President of Mexico and president of Centro Fox

• Al Zapanta‚ president‚ U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce

• Peter Appleton‚ president‚ U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce‚ SE Chapter

WHAT: “Making North America Work – The Future of Canada‚ USA‚ Mexico Relations.”

This Open Forum will provide an opportunity for leaders and dignitaries in the fields of business‚ government and academia from the United States‚ Canada and Mexico to discuss the future of relations between the three countries.

WHEN: Tuesday‚ May 12‚ 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center‚ on the campus of Kennesaw State University‚ 1000 Chastain Rd.‚ Kennesaw‚ Ga.

The forum is free and open to the public. For public attendance purposes only‚ please RSVP to Jeanette Eberhart at jeberhar@kennesaw.edu or phone (770) 423-6033. All media should contact the KSU Office of University Relations to arrange attendance.

WHY: The Commission for North American Prosperity was created in response to growing recognition of the importance of the evolving social and economic relationships between Canada‚ Mexico and the U.S. Its mission is to provide guidance to North American leaders in government‚ business and civil society in the formulation of public and private policies affecting the future development and relationships of the U.S.‚ Canada and Mexico and its citizens. It is composed of 150 representatives from the private and public sectors.

Contact: Director of University Relations
Frances Weyand Harrison
770-423-6203
fharris4@kennesaw.edu

Contact: Tammy DeMel‚ 770-423-6383 or tdemel@kennesaw.edu

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia‚ offering more than 65 graduate and undergraduate degrees‚ including new doctorates in education and business. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia‚ Kennesaw State is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of more than 21‚000 from 142 countries.

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Links

United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce

Security and Prosperity Partnership Of North America

Stop SPP

Stop the North American Union.org

Stop the North American Union.com