Monday, July 27, 2009

Leaders’ Summit on North American Relations Held in June

By Dana Gabriel

Unbeknownst to many, the Leaders’ Summit on North American Relations was held in Quebec in June of this year. It represents yet another facet of North American integration. This should not be confused with the upcoming North American Leaders’ Summit which is scheduled to take place in Mexico on August 9-10.

The fifth Leaders’ Summit on North American Relations was held on June 3 of this year in Quebec City. The summit was chaired by Quebec Premier Jean Charest. It focused on, “four main areas: the economic context and the financial crisis; North American integration: NAFTA’s track record and prospects; transportation and infrastructure; and energy and climate change.” In conjunction with the summit, the North American SuperCorridor Coalition (NASCO) Conference also took place from June 2-4.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

FLASHBACK: President Obama Won't Change NAFTA

(Originally Published on June 13, 2008)

By Dana Gabriel

Barack Obama has all but wrapped up the Democratic nomination, with only the formalities of the convention remaining. There is a good chance that he will become the next president of the United States. For all his talk of change, it appears that in areas of trade, economics, foreign and monetary policy, things for the most part will remain status quo. During the grueling nomination battle, both the Obama and Clinton camps were highly critical of NAFTA and accused the other of changing their position on the trade agreement. What is really worrisome is that you don’t hear Obama, or McCain for that matter, talking about preserving the constitution or protecting American sovereignty. The reality is that NAFTA will remain intact, and the push towards a North American Union and global governance will continue.

Obama has promised that one of his first orders of business as president will be to call upon the leaders of Canada and Mexico to renegotiate stronger labor and environmental provisions into NAFTA. Both he and Clinton were specific about using the six-month opt-out clause in order to put pressure for changes to be made. It appears as if Obama has backed himself into a corner. With all this talk about renegotiating NAFTA, the U.S. ambassador to Canada , David Wilkins, has said that NAFTA is too important to do away with or make any drastic changes to. He pointed to the fact that regardless who wins the American presidential election, NAFTA will stand.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

North American Integration: Deep-Rooted Agenda Continues

By Dana Gabriel

North American integration is a deep-rooted agenda that continues on many different fronts. This has not changed under an Obama administration. Posted on the U.S. Department of State’s website calendar of events is the fifth annual North American Leaders Summit, which is set to take place August 9-10 in Mexico. Much of the foundation and framework for a North American superstate has already been achieved through NAFTA and the Security Prosperity Partnership (SPP). The latest leaders summit could be used as an opportunity to revive stalled SPP measures and launch a new strategy that would further build off past continental integration initiatives.

With the decline of the SPP, other groups have picked up the slack in an effort to further advance continental integration and protect any previous accomplishments. One of these such organizations is the Standing Commission on North American Prosperity which is an initiative of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce. In May of this year, they held meetings in Atlanta, Georgia where Former Mexican President and staunch globalist, Vicente Fox called for a new era of North American collaboration. He stated, “If we are together, the U.S.‚ Mexico and Canada‚ no doubt we’ll be number one – the number one economy, the number one market, the number one consumer market – in the world.” He also said, “My dream is that we will not have a border.” Fox has been a strong advocate of deep continental integration using the European Union as the model.