U.S. House voted in July to cut off funding for SPP transportation issue talks
A CANADIAN NEWSPAPER, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN, APPEARS TO REPORT MORE ON WHAT THE U.S. CONGRESS IS DOING VIS-A-VIS THE SPP THAN MOST OF THE DOMINANT, DINSOSAUR, CFR-CONTROLLED AMERICAN MEDIA !
THE CFR IS BEHIND THE NAU:
Building a North American Community
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
Task Force Report No. 53
THE UPCOMING AUGUST 20-21 SPP (NAU) SUMMIT BETWEEN PRESIDENT BUSH (US), PRESIDENT CALDERON (MEXICO) AND PRIME MINISTER HARPER (CANADA) WILL TAKE PLACE IN MONTEBELLO, CANADA, BETWEEN OTTAWA AND MONTREAL.
Columbia Christians for Life
August 14, 2007
U.S. Congress blocks key transport initiative
Warns trilateral plan would open borders to 'alien invaders'
Kelly Patterson, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Monday, July 30, 2007
Just weeks before the Canadian, U.S. and Mexican leaders meet in Montebello, Que., to discuss the Security and Prosperity Partnership, U.S. legislators moved to block a key part of the trilateral trade initiative.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly last week to cut off funding for talks on all transportation issues related to the SPP, a controversial effort to harmonize the countries' economic and security protocols.
Legislators are concerned that crucial decisions affecting cross-border security, immigration and product safety are being made without congressional consultation.
"The (Bush) administration refuses to report back to Congress," Democrat Marcy Kaptur told the House. "They have been intransigent, they have been unresponsive and, frankly, they've been secretive."
But Republican Congressman Joe Knollenberg warned that cutting SPP funding would "put all of the U.S.-Canada transportation initiatives to an end," including years of improvements to the critical Detroit-Windsor border crossing.
Representatives voted 362-63 in favour of the budget amendment, put forward jointly by Ms. Kaptur and Republican Duncan Hunter. The amendment will now go to the U.S. Senate for debate.
NDP MP Peter Julian warns that similar debates are arising north of the border.
"This is a real wake-up call for (Prime Minister) Stephen Harper," he said. "The SPP is an unacceptable, closed-door process. ... There is a need for a real public consultation."
Transportation talks have become a hot-button issue in the U.S., where critics fear secret negotiations are aimed at building a "NAFTA Superhighway" linking the three nations.
Many on the extreme right fear such a highway would spell the end of the U.S., as "alien invaders" swarm across the border from Mexico. But moderates have also expressed concerns such a transport corridor would overwhelm customs and immigration staff.
In a statement this week, Ms. Kaptur said the 12-lane highway "is already under construction in Texas." The network would divert incoming Asian goods from bustling California ports to Mexican ports, jeopardizing American jobs, she warned. It would also fast-track overseas products into the U.S. "without adequate safety provisions and inspection," she charges.
While some private ventures and state governments have described ongoing projects as "NAFTA Corridors," the federal government is not involved, according to the U.S. government website on the SPP.
"The NAFTA Superhighway simply does not exist," says Frank Conde of North America's SuperCorridor Coalition (NASCO), a U.S.-based non-profit group that aims to improve an already existing network of highways that link the three countries.
But Ms. Kaptur and other critics dismiss that argument as semantics, arguing that ongoing plans for the rapid expansion of many parts of that network amount to a superhighway.
One NASCO member, Kansas Southern Railway, also sits on the North American Competitiveness Council, an elite group of corporations formed to advise the three governments on the SPP.
Mr. Conde says the railroad, which operates in the U.S. and Mexico, does not share information on the SPP with NASCO. (Railroad officials were not available for comment at press time).
He adds that some SPP initiatives have made the border crossings safer. He points to the little-known e-manifest program, under which transport firms submit detailed information about their cargo, drivers and routes to a government database before approaching the border.
Cargoes or companies that may pose a risk are flagged in the system, so officials can zero in on trucks or drivers that may pose a risk; low-risk vehicles can pass through quickly.
© The Ottawa Citizen 2007
Related stories in The Ottawa Citizen, Ontario, Canada:
(Read the Canadian newspaper because much of the real news is censored by the dominant, dinosaur, CFR-controlled, American press)
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