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Report to Leaders
Security and Prosperity Partnership Of North America

Publication Date: June 27, 2005

Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America

Report to Leaders

June 2005

On March 23, 2005, you announced the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. At that time, you instructed Ministers to create an architecture which would further enhance the security of North America while at the same time promote the economic well-being of our citizens and position North America to face and meet future challenges. This effort builds on the excellent, long-standing relations among our three countries. The response to your request is attached.

In carrying out your instructions, we established working groups under both agendas of the Partnership - Security and Prosperity. We held roundtables with stakeholders, meetings with business groups and briefing sessions with legislatures, as well as with other relevant political jurisdictions. The result is a detailed series of actions and recommendations designed to increase the competitiveness of North America and the security of our people. While the Security and Prosperity agendas were developed by separate teams, we recognize that our economic well-being and our security are not two separate and distinct issues. In that spirit, we have worked together to ensure that the appropriate linkages are made between security and prosperity initiatives.

Upon your review and approval, we will once again meet with stakeholders and work with them to implement the workplans that we have developed. We will also encourage them to continue to provide us with new ideas and proposals which will help shape our forward agenda and our vision for North America.

To make North America secure for the future, we need integrated, coordinated and seamless measures in place at, within, and beyond our borders to provide our people and our infrastructure with the highest possible common level of protection from terrorists and other criminal elements, as well as from the common threats of nature.

To make North America prosperous for the future, we need to improve the efficiency of the movement of people, goods and services crossing our borders. We must remove barriers to trade, investment, research and education. We must protect our environment and promote the health and safety of our people.

Increased economic integration and security cooperation will further a unique and strong North American relationship - a relationship that meets your stated goals while preserving our political and cultural identities.

We recognize that this Partnership is designed to be a dynamic, permanent process and that the attached workplans are but a first step. We know that after today, the real work begins. We will now need to transform the ideas into reality and the initiatives into prosperity and security.

The success of our efforts will be defined less by the contents of the workplans than by the actual implementation of initiatives and strategies that will make North America more prosperous and more secure. We will report back to you semi-annually, highlighting progress on implementing our commitments and making recommendations for further initiatives to be pursued under the Security and Prosperity Partnership.

The report is presented in three separate sections. The first outlines several initiatives which were concluded during the preparation of this report. They represent an immediate benefit from this process. The second section outlines major themes and initiatives which focus on issues or situations which, when resolved, will provide major contributions to the economic and security integrity of the region. Finally, the last section is an annex which provides a description of all the initiatives that will be undertaken by the working groups, including a description of the project, milestones and completion dates.

Much has been accomplished in the preparation of this report. We want to commend the work of each of the working group chairs and working group participants for their creativity and their ability to work as a cohesive team with their colleagues from the other countries. We believe that if the dedication and hard work shown to date are carried forward, this Partnership can only succeed in providing the security necessary to develop a strong North American platform highlighted by sustained economic growth and job creation, and improved standards of living for our citizens.

Carlos Gutierrez

Michael Chertoff

Condoleezza Rice

Fernando Canales

Carlos Abascal

Luis Ernesto Derbéz

Secretary of Commerce

Secretary of Homeland Security

Secretary of State

Secretario de Economía

Secretario de Gobernación

Secretario de Relaciones Exteriores

David L. Emerson

Anne McLellan

Pierre Stewart Pettigrew

Minister of Industry

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America

Initial Results

In the 90 days since the launch of the Security and Prosperity Partnership on March 23, 2005, a number of collaborative initiatives have been completed to advance the prosperity and security agendas:


Electronic Commerce . In June 2005, our three countries signed a Framework of Common Principles for Electronic Commerce that will encourage the development of trans-border online business in North America . The Framework addresses the respective roles of government and the private sector, promoting transparency and security, and facilitating the acceleration of ICT use by eliminating barriers to e-commerce in cross-border transactions.

• Liberalization of Rules of Origin . We have completed the implementation of modifications of rules of origin, covering goods such as household appliances, precious metals, and various machinery and equipment parts. Liberalizing rules of origin reduces administrative burdens by making it easier for exporters to qualify for duty-free treatment under NAFTA. These changes will affect US$20 billion of annual trilateral trade.

Consumer Products . Canada and the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance and strengthen the exchange of information and cooperative activities on public health and safety protection related to the safety of consumer products, and encourage compatibility of standards-related measures to the greatest extent practicable. Likewise, Mexico and the United States are holding negotiations to reach agreement on a similar Memorandum of Understanding.

• Textiles and Apparel Labelling . We have reached an arrangement on the Use of Care Symbols on Textile and Apparel Goods Labels that will facilitate market access of textile and apparel goods by the uniform acceptance of harmonized care symbols in North America. We plan to sign this arrangement in July.

Temporary Work Entry . The three countries have forwarded a trilateral document setting out each country's domestic procedures to modify NAFTA's temporary entry appendix on professionals to the NAFTA Free Trade Commission for approval. This will clarify procedures in each country, thereby providing a mechanism for more North American professionals to be given temporary entry.

Migratory Species and Biodiversity . We have signed a Declaration of Intent for the Conservation of North American Birds and Their Habitat, a non-binding trilateral agreement to cooperate in conserving the continent's bird species and the landscapes upon which they depend for survival.

Harmonized Approach to BSE. A harmonized North America approach to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) was agreed by animal health officials in all three countries in March 2005. This approach provides continued protection of human and animal health, while also establishing a framework for safe international trade opportunities for cattle and beef products from Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Border Flow Analysis . Canada has completed the pilot projects to test Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) technology at Canada-U.S. border crossings and will pursue broader implementation. This initiative will take advantage of state-of-the-art technology to capture, analyze and exchange traffic flow data without impeding border trade, thus enhancing transportation flexibility and efficiency.

Aviation Safety . Following on the tri-lateral agreement to create a North American Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) signed in 2004, five WAAS stations will be put in place in Canada and Mexico in 2005. This system, based on the U.S. Global Positioning System, will increase navigational accuracy across North America, enhancing aviation safety.

Airspace Capacity . The three countries implemented Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) in January 2005. This initiative increases North America airspace capacity and allows aircraft to fly more efficient routes, reducing costs to air carriers and passengers.

Harmonized Air Navigation Systems . Our three countries recently released a North American Aviation Trilateral Statement on a Joint Strategy for the implementation of performance-based navigation in North America. This initiative, which includes both Area Navigation (RNAV) and Required Navigation Performance (RNP) in North America, will harmonize our navigation standards, simplify training and improve efficiency for air carriers.


NTC-NRAC Exchange. The United States and Canada have agreed to exchange officers between their two respective targeting facilities, the National Targeting Center (NTC) in the United States and the National Risk Assessment Centre (NRAC) in Canada.

Public Safety along the U.S.-Mexico Border. The United States and Mexico recently agreed to, over the course of three weeks, identify and target key procedures and guidelines to establish a standardized Alien Smuggler Prosecutions Program along the Southwest border, built upon previous U.S. – Mexico efforts in the Guide Identification Prosecution Program (GIPP), a collaborative effort between CBP and Mexico's Attorney General Office--Procuraduria General de la Republica (PGR) - to identify and prosecute local guides and alien smugglers who endanger the lives of migrants.

Progress on Windsor-Detroit 25% Challenge. We are working with bridge and tunnel operators of the Detroit-Windsor gateway to develop a number of innovations that will reduce the transit times along the Detroit-Windsor corridor. On June 9, 2005, agreements were reached that are expected to increase capacity on the U.S. side of the Blue Water Bridge by 17 per cent. Improvements at the Detroit-Windsor gateway are planned for Summer/Fall 2005.

Expanding infrastructure at Nogales, Arizona. We have completed the reviews necessary to approve construction of two new commercial lanes at Nogales, Arizona. The formal documentation is expected to be issued by the end of June 2005. Construction is expected to begin shortly thereafter.

Science & Technology Cooperation. The Canada-U.S. Public Security Technical Program has completed a comprehensive Coordinated Risk Assessment to form the basis for identifying and prioritizing major collaborative science and technology initiatives across all homeland security mission areas. The final report is expected to be completed in late summer 2005.

Nexus Marine Pilot. The United States and Canada implemented the NEXUS-Marine pilot in Windsor-Detroit for seasonal boaters in April 2005.

Preclearance Site. We have identified the site for the second Canada-U.S. land preclearance pilot: at the Thousand Islands Bridge, all Canadian border operations would be re-located from Lansdowne, Ontario to Alexandria Bay, New York.

WCO Framework. We have agreed to trilaterally support, and to each promote implementation, assuming a favorable vote, of the proposed WCO Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade.

Joint Initial Verification Team Examinations . By the end of May 2005, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) - Transport Canada Joint Initial Verification Team (JIVT) had completed 94 joint verification exams , since the start of the 2005 Seaway season . The Team jointly examined vessels to ensure they were in substantial compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code regulations before they were allowed to enter the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes .

Port Security Exercises. Between May 9-11, 2005, the United States and Canada conducted three port security exercises to evaluate joint response capability to terrorist attacks along the U.S. / Canadian border of the Great Lakes between Sault Ste. Marie and Detroit.

Promoting Growth, Competitiveness and Quality of Life

Key Themes and Initiatives

On March 23, 2005, President Bush, President Fox and Prime Minister Martin committed our countries to enhancing North American competitiveness and improving the quality of life of our people. On that basis they tasked Ministers and officials, in consultation with stakeholders, to develop workplans that would give effect to that fundamental goal.

Over the past 90 days, ten working groups have been created to develop detailed workplans on prosperity and quality of life, identifying concrete, forward-looking strategies and initiatives. These initiatives form a broad and ambitious agenda of collaboration aimed at transforming important sectors of our economies and ensuring that our citizens benefit from high standards of safety and health, and joint stewardship of our environment.

I. Making North America the Best Place to do Business

The competitiveness of North American firms depends on a number of factors influencing the business environment. The three countries have identified key drivers of competitiveness and have agreed on the following priorities:

Enhancing and Streamlining Regulatory Processes in North America

• We will develop a trilateral Regulatory Cooperation Framework by 2007 to support and enhance existing, as well as encourage new cooperation among regulators, including at the outset of the regulatory process.

• The framework will aim to strengthen cooperation among regulators and encourage the compatibility of regulations and the reduction of redundant testing and certification requirements, while maintaining high standards of health and safety.

Fake Free North America

• Protection of intellectual property is key to sustaining an innovative economy. We will seek to develop a coordinated strategy by 2006, aimed at combating counterfeiting and piracy, and focusing on:

• Enhancing detection and deterrence of counterfeiting and piracy;

• Expanding public awareness and outreach efforts regarding trade in pirated and counterfeit goods; and,

• Developing measurements to assess progress over time and to estimate the magnitude of the problem.

Expanding Duty Free Treatment by Liberalizing the Rules of Origin

• Ongoing liberalization of rules of origin will help improve the competitiveness of our industries by reducing transaction costs and facilitating cross-border trade in goods. Building on the work of our three countries in implementing changes to rules of origin agreed under the first round of negotiations, we have agreed to a second round of changes and commit to complete negotiations on an ambitious third round of changes by May 1, 2006. This will expand duty free treatment through rules of origin liberalization, covering at least $30 billion in trilateral trade by 2007.

II. Sectoral Collaboration to Enhance North American Competitiveness

We are committed to continue working to identify the factors affecting the competitiveness of the North American economy. To help Governments identify these issues, we will build on the work of existing organizations, which will provide strategic advice on ways to strengthen the North American economy in areas such as improving the flow of people and goods, supply chains and regulatory cooperation. While the efforts will be private sector led, governments, policy experts and other stakeholders will also participate.

Many sectors of our economies are already well integrated and provide valuable lessons for other sectors of the North American economy. We believe that we can learn from these industries and work with them to ensure that they continue to thrive in the global economy. In that context, we will pursue a number of sectoral initiatives, including:

Steel: A Strategic Partnership – A Strategic Industry

• We will put in place a North American Steel Strategy by 2006 that will promote growth, competitiveness and prosperity. The strategy will be developed and implemented through the North American Steel Trade Committee (NASTC), which has been a leading example of sectoral cooperation among the three governments and industry. The NASTC will focus on:

• Pursuing the elimination of distortions adversely affecting North American steel markets, including through policy coordination and other actions;

• Reducing the costs and risks of North American steel trade through proactive measures to facilitate such trade, with improved monitoring to enhance understanding of the North American steel market; and

• Promoting steel industry competitiveness and productivity through innovation and market development.

Moving towards a Fully Integrated Auto Sector

• We will also establish an Automotive Partnership Council of North America that will support the ongoing competitiveness of the automotive and auto parts sector. The Council will help identify the full spectrum of issues that impact the industry, ranging from regulation, innovation, transportation infrastructure, and border facilitation.

Creating a Sustainable Energy Economy for North America

• Creating a sustainable energy economy for North America is in the vital interest of all three countries. Reliable, affordable energy is critical to the prosperity and security of our peoples. We are taking action to create a policy environment that will promote the sustainable supply and use of energy in North America.

• To that end, we affirm our commitment in pursuing joint cooperation in the areas of: regulation , energy efficiency, natural gas including liquefied natural gas (LNG), science and technology, reliability of electricity transmission grids, oil sands production, nuclear energy, hydrocarbons and energy information, statistics and projections.

• Recognizing the importance of natural gas to North America's energy future, we are announcing a trilateral gas initiative to address a range of issues related to the natural gas market in North America, including: production, transportation, transmission, distribution, consumption, trade, interconnections and LNG as well as projections for the future. This initiative also focuses on transparency of regulations, laws and siting processes in the three countries to promote enhanced regional trade and investment.

• The three countries have established a regulators' expert group, recognizing that appropriate coordination of their efforts will promote the public interest through increased efficiency, expedited and coordinated action on significant energy infrastructure projects, and cost savings to both the public and regulated entities. All agree that the regulatory efforts of the Canada's National Energy Board (NEB), the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Mexico's Comision Reguladora de Energia (CRE) will benefit from increased communication and cooperation concerning the timing and other procedural aspects of related matters that may be pending before all three agencies.

• Canada and the United States have established a working group on electricity reliability which will coordinate their guidance to the North American Electricity Reliability Council (NERC) and regional councils, concerning an Electricity Reliability Organization (ERO) that can operate on an international basis. Mexico will take initial steps to join this Working Group, with the goal of a coordinated trilateral North American reliability effort.

• The three countries will strengthen technical and scientific cooperation in the field of energy that includes initiatives to promote cleaner and more efficient energy resources and technologies.

Air Transportation: Expanding our Horizons

• We will put in place a plan by 2007 aimed at improving the safety and efficiency of North American air navigation system and expanding air transportation opportunities. Our aim is to reach agreement on new opportunities for commercial aviation, have a compatible regulatory regime to facilitate business aviation among all three countries, increase air capacity and enhance aviation safety and air navigation.

• The United States and Mexico will work toward the development of a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement. The United States will support Mexico's efforts to strengthen its oversight of Mexican companies that produce parts and components for the aerospace industry. With this purpose, and at the demonstration of sufficient production surveillance, Mexico and the United States will sign a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) for production oversight support. This MOC would be the first concrete step toward the eventual conclusion of a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement, under which certain Mexican aeronautical parts and products would be eligible for export to the United States, which will benefit Mexican industry.

Safer, Faster and More Efficient Border Crossings

• New, enhanced mechanisms will support binational border planning, information sharing and communications through the U.S.-Canada Transportation Border Working Group and the U.S.-Mexico Joint Working Committee on Transportation Planning. The United States and Canada will complete a border infrastructure compendium and develop an implementation plan for priority infrastructure investments at key land border ports of entry, improve border trade and traffic information, improve the cross-border movement of people and goods, enhance use of supporting technologies and improve border transportation planning and coordination. Methods for detecting bottlenecks on the U.S.-Mexico border will be developed and low cost/high impact projects identified in bottleneck studies will be constructed or implemented. New, secure SENTRI travel lanes will be constructed by 2006 and the United States and Mexico will work toward implementation of a secure cross-border commuter service between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez.

Free and Secure Electronic Commerce

• I n June 2005, our three countries signed a Framework of Common Principles for Electronic Commerce. The Framework will promote the growth of online business and streamline transborder electronic commerce procedures while building consumer confidence through privacy protection, and a shared approach to cross-border recognition of electronic signatures and documents. We will begin to work together immediately to implement the Framework.

Beyond these sectoral initiatives, we propose to pay particular attention to the important role that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) play in driving innovation, job creation and economic growth. We will consult with SME stakeholders on ways of addressing their particular challenges with respect to streamlining the movement of low-risk traffic across our borders, regulatory cooperation and the reduction of paper burden.

Enabling Our People

• To better prepare our people to deal with the challenges of the knowledge-based economy, the three countries will, by mid 2006, better coordinate and enhance the current efforts under the Partnership for Prosperity and the Canada-Mexico Partnership. The aim of this initiative is to empower our people through enhanced higher education , academic exchanges , and common research and development initiatives, so as to better prepare our human capital for the future.

III. Making North America the Best Place to Live

To make North America the best place to live, our countries will implement a series of measures that will enhance the quality of our environment, ensure high standards of safety for our food supply and promote and protect the health of our citizens. Specifically, we are committing to pursue the following:

Clean Air, Clean Water: Protecting People and our Environment .

• Our three countries will work together to:

• Increase domestic supply of low-sulphur fuels in Mexico, through significant investment by Mexico, supported by technical assistance and capacity-building from the U.S. and Canada.

• Address ship-source air pollution through coordinated data gathering, marine emissions inventory development, and air quality modeling.

• Launch the joint Canada-U.S. review of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

• Promote ballast water management strategies in North America, demonstrating our collective commitment to combat invasive alien species.

• Seek to conclude a trans-boundary environmental impact assessment cooperation agreement for proposed projects by June 2007.

Access to a Safe and Reliable Food Supply

• We will establish or identify a North American food safety coordinating mechanism to facilitate the:

• Cooperative design and development of common standards, where appropriate;

• Review of existing food safety standards to identify and assess, on a scientific basis, differences with a view to removing, where warranted and appropriate, those identified differences; and,

• Sharing of information on food safety matters to protect and advance public health in North America.

• We will cooperate on a North American basis to speed up identification, management and recovery from food safety, animal and plant disease hazards.

Healthier North America

• We will work on many fronts to ensure a coordinated and strategic approach to address common public health issues and concerns. We will work together to improve mechanisms to share information, build on each others' knowledge and expertise, and improve capacity and cooperation by:

• Putting in place protocols for mutual assistance and support to prevent, protect against, and respond to cross-border public health emergencies. These protocols will facilitate the exchange of liaison officers between national public health agencies, and the coordination and exchange of personnel and medical supplies.

• Developing a regional plan to combat influenza, through the Global Health Security Initiative, that will facilitate the sharing of information (e.g., vaccine clinical trials) and the coordination of approaches to common regional issues related to preparedness (e.g., border issues).

• Building upon existing laboratory-based surveillance initiatives in North America by finalizing the Canada-US Memorandum of Understanding related to PulseNet, examining methods to improve the monitoring of pathogens and establishing an infectious disease early warning system.

• Establishing a North American mechanism to facilitate information-sharing on the safety of pharmaceutical products to protect and advance public health in North America.

Securing North America from External and Internal Threats and further Streamlining the Secure Movement of Low-Risk Traffic across our Shared Borders

Key Themes and Initiatives

President Bush, President Fox and Prime Minister Martin committed our countries on March 23, 2005, to:

“establish a common approach to security to protect North America from external threats, prevent and respond to threats within North American, and to further streamline the secure and efficient movement of legitimate, low risk traffic across our shared border.”

Our countries have made major advances since 9/11 in developing improved security policies, systems and processes. With our improved and expanding relations at all levels, we now have opportunities to further our common security goals in an evolving and strengthened North American relationship. Over the past three months, experts from the United States, Mexico and Canada have developed specific plans and objectives to meet these goals. These North American plans and objectives, once fully implemented by the bilateral and trilateral working groups now engaged, will bring transformational improvements to our common security goals, specifically:

I. Securing North America from External Threats

We have established plans to develop and implement comparable processes which produce consistent outcomes for screening individuals prior to departure and at first point of entry into North America, as well as to develop and implement compatible screening methods for goods and cargo prior to departure from a foreign port and at the first point of entry to North America. These strategies include commitments on:

Biometrics and secure documentation vision. We will work to develop systems that prevent high-risk travelers from coming to North America, and facilitate legitimate travel to and within North America, by enhancing our ability to verify traveler identities.

• We will test technology and make recommendations, over the next 12 months, to enhance the use of biometrics in screening travelers destined to North America with a view to developing compatible biometric border and immigration systems.

• We will develop standards for lower-cost secure proof of status and nationality documents to facilitate cross-border travel, and work to achieve optimal production before January 1, 2008.

• We will devise a single, integrated global enrollment program for North American trusted traveler programs within the next 36 months.

Real-time information sharing. We will ensure real-time information sharing on high-risk individuals and cargo, and thereby better enable our Governments to prevent them from entering North America, including by:

• Negotiating terrorist screening information agreements and examining other appropriate linkages between Canada, Mexico and the United States.

• Completing the negotiation of the Canada-U.S. visa information sharing agreement within 18 months.

• Finalizing protocols to share information on high-risk cargo.

Compatible screening standards . We will implement compatible border security measures so that we can better screen out high risk individuals and cargo before they depart for North America, including by :

• Developing a reciprocal mechanism within 12 months to inform visa-free travel program country reviews.

• Developing benchmarks on procedures and policies for visitor visa processing , including security screening, visa validity, length of stay, quality control measures and access to appeal or review, within 9 months.

• Developing compatible criteria for the posting of lookouts of suspected terrorists and criminals within 9 months.

Export controls for radioactive sources. Within 18 months, we will implement import /export control programs, consistent with newly established international standards, to minimize the risk of illicit movements of radioactive materials that could be used for malicious purposes such as “dirty bombs”.

Bioprotection . Within 24 months, we will develop a coordinated strategy to identify and manage threats to our food supply and agricultural sectors, consistent with each country's legislation, and share approaches of determining risk from imported foods.

II. Preventing and Responding to Threats within North America

In North America, we have established plans for equivalent approaches to strengthen aviation security, to enhance maritime transportation and port security, to combat transnational threats to the United States , Canada, and Mexico, including terrorism, organized crime, illegal drugs, migrant and contraband smuggling and trafficking, to enhance partnerships on intelligence and information sharing, and to develop and implement a common approach to critical infrastructure protection, and response to cross-border terrorist incidents and, as applicable, natural disasters. These strategies include commitments on:

• Preparedness. We will implement a comprehensive North American program to ensure that our Governments are prepared to respond to large-scale incidents, including by:

• Developing protocols within 12 months to manage incidents that impact border operations.

• Strengthening capabilities to respond to maritime incidents and minimize the impact on maritime commerce.

• Developing a comprehensive law enforcement strategy to respond to transnational terrorist incidents in North America.

• Ensuring interoperability of communications systems used in response operations.

• Drafting and signing protocols for mutual assistance and support in response to a cross-border public health emergency.

• Conducting a preparedness exercise in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver/Whistler.

• Critical Infrastructure Protection. We will complete coordinated vulnerability assessments to identify our critical cross-border infrastructure and seek to enhance its protection.

• Mari t ime and Aviation Security. We will develop and implement a comprehensive North American approach to strengthening maritime and aviation security, including by:

• Developing comparable standards and procedures for the screening of aviation passengers, hold baggage and cargo and by working together on passenger assessment programs that reflect each nation's legislation.

• Developing and implementing plans to make port and vessel security regimes more compatible to secure our contiguous waters, and to enhance coordination of regional operations to secure our maritime borders.

• U.S.- Mexico Border Enforcement against Smuggling Organizations. We will form intelligence sharing task force pilots to target cross border criminal activity, in particular criminal gang and trafficking organization networks, and thereby reduce violence along the border.

• U.S.-Canada Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway Enforcement Program. We will develop coordinated maritime law enforcement programs on the St. Lawrence Seaway/Great Lakes systems with a specific interest in interdicting smugglers/traffickers and ensuring border security.

III. Further Streamlining the Secure Movement of Low-Risk Traffic across our Shared Borders

We have also developed a border facilitation plan to build capacity and improve the flow of legitimate trade and travel at ports of entry within North America. This strategy includes commitments on:

• Working with local stakeholders along the border to make our existing infrastructure more efficient, for example by considering the expansion of the Detroit/Windsor 25% challenge to other land border crossings where applicable.

• Evaluating and making recommendations for expanding the Vancouver NEXUS -Air pilot to other U.S. air preclearance sites in Canada and examining feasibility of expanding the eligibility for NEXUS-Air to include Mexican nationals, within six months.

• Completing negotiations of a formal Canada-U.S. land preclearance agreement within 6 months, contingent on legislative amendments.

• Considering programs to substantially reduce transit times and border congestion like partnering with state, provincial and local governments and the private sector to establish “low-risk” port of entry pilots for the exclusive use of those enrolled in our trusted trade and traveler programs.

• Assessing feasibility of further streamlining FAST processing at ports of entry.

• Expanding the SENTRI program to priority ports of entry within 12 months.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Israel Warns of 'Extreme' Action

Israeli troops at Gaza border

June 28, 2006

Israel's prime minister has warned of "extreme action" to free a soldier captured by Palestinian militants.

Photo: Tanks enter Gaza

Witnesses reported an air strike on a militant training camp in Gaza, after planes bombed a power station and three bridges overnight.

Tanks also moved into the southern Gaza Strip, in the first big incursion since the Israeli withdrawal last year.

There are no reports of clashes but the incursion brought condemnation from the main Palestinian factions.

In developments elsewhere:

* Around 30 Israeli army jeeps have surrounded a building near the West Bank town of Ramallah

* Militants in the West Bank showed what they said was a photocopy of the ID card of the missing 18-year-old Jewish settler Eliahu Asher, whom they say they have abducted and will kill if Israel continues its operation.

* Israel's Public Security Minister, Avi Dichter, told Israeli radio that Hamas leaders based in Syria could be attacked

We have no intention of staying [in Gaza]. We have a central goal and that is to bring Gilad home — Israeli PM Ehud Olmert

Photo: Undated family picture of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, 19 years old. He lost an uncle in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and is the first Israeli soldier kidnapped by Palestinians since 1994.

Cpl Gilad Shalit was taken prisoner in a raid claimed by three different organisations - including the armed wing of governing party Hamas - on an Israeli guard post near Gaza on Sunday.

"We won't hesitate to carry out extreme action to bring Gilad back to his family," Mr Olmert said, adding that Israel only wanted to rescue its soldier and did not wish to stay on in Gaza.


Witnesses reported that at least one missile was fired into what they said was a Hamas training camp in the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Wednesday afternoon.

Israel said it had launched an air strike on open fields. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Image: Gaza Strip

Palestinian security sources said an explosion at a house in Khan Younis in southern Gaza on Wednesday afternoon appeared to be an accident, not part of the Israeli action.

Overnight, covered by artillery and helicopter gunship fire, Israeli tanks moved in from the Kerem Shalom crossing near southern Gaza and took control of the disused airport.

Planes also bombed three bridges linking the north and south of the strip, and Gaza's main electricity transformer, plunging much of the strip into darkness.

Army officials said the operation would remain "limited and surgical".


While the Israelis have reported no major resistance, Palestinian militants have been erecting barricades and preparing hideouts and ambush positions.

Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, condemned the Israeli incursion as "collective punishment" and said the problem could only be solved through negotiation.

Cpl Shalit was captured when Palestinian militants tunnelled under the Gaza border and attacked an Israeli army position at Kerem Shalom, killing two soldiers.

Israel has refused militant demands for Palestinian women and children held in Israeli jails to be freed in exchange for information about the soldier.

Hamas political leaders have denied they know of Cpl Shalit's whereabouts and have urged his captors not to mistreat him.

Israel last year pulled soldiers and thousands of settlers out of Gaza, which it had first occupied after the 1967 war.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Jerome Corsi

North American Union to Replace USA?

by Jerome R. Corsi
Posted May 19, 2006

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President Bush is pursuing a globalist agenda to create a North American Union, effectively erasing our borders with both Mexico and Canada. This was the hidden agenda behind the Bush administration's true open borders policy.

Secretly, the Bush administration is pursuing a policy to expand NAFTA politically, setting the stage for a North American Union designed to encompass the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. What the Bush administration truly wants is the free, unimpeded movement of people across open borders with Mexico and Canada.

President Bush intends to abrogate U.S. sovereignty to the North American Union, a new economic and political entity which the President is quietly forming, much as the European Union has formed.

The blueprint President Bush is following was laid out in a 2005 report entitled "Building a North American Community" published by the left-of-center Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR report connects the dots between the Bush administration's actual policy on illegal immigration and the drive to create the North American Union:

At their meeting in Waco, Texas, at the end of March 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin committed their governments to a path of cooperation and joint action. We welcome this important development and offer this report to add urgency and specific recommendations to strengthen their efforts.

What is the plan? Simple, erase the borders. The plan is contained in a "Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America" little noticed when President Bush and President Fox created it in March 2005:

In March 2005, the leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States adopted a Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), establishing ministerial-level working groups to address key security and economic issues facing North America and setting a short deadline for reporting progress back to their governments. President Bush described the significance of the SPP as putting forward a common commitment "to markets and democracy, freedom and trade, and mutual prosperity and security." The policy framework articulated by the three leaders is a significant commitment that will benefit from broad discussion and advice. The Task Force is pleased to provide specific advice on how the partnership can be pursued and realized.

To that end, the Task Force proposes the creation by 2010 of a North American community to enhance security, prosperity, and opportunity. We propose a community based on the principle affirmed in the March 2005 Joint Statement of the three leaders that "our security and prosperity are mutually dependent and complementary." Its boundaries will be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter within which the movement of people, products, and capital will be legal, orderly and safe. Its goal will be to guarantee a free, secure, just, and prosperous North America.

The perspective of the CFR report allows us to see President Bush's speech to the nation as nothing more than public relations posturing and window dressing. No wonder President Vincente Fox called President Bush in a panic after the speech. How could the President go back on his word to Mexico by actually securing our border? Not to worry, President Bush reassured President Fox. The National Guard on the border were only temporary, meant to last only as long until the public forgets about the issue, as has always been the case in the past.

The North American Union plan, which Vincente Fox has every reason to presume President Bush is still following, calls for the only border to be around the North American Union -- not between any of these countries. Or, as the CFR report stated:

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.

Discovering connections like this between the CFR recommendations and Bush administration policy gives credence to the argument that President Bush favors amnesty and open borders, as he originally said. Moreover, President Bush most likely continues to consider groups such as the Minuteman Project to be "vigilantes," as he has also said in response to a reporter's question during the March 2005 meeting with President Fox.

Why doesn’t President Bush just tell the truth? His secret agenda is to dissolve the United States of America into the North American Union. The administration has no intent to secure the border, or to enforce rigorously existing immigration laws. Securing our border with Mexico is evidently one of the jobs President Bush just won't do. If a fence is going to be built on our border with Mexico, evidently the Minuteman Project is going to have to build the fence themselves. Will President Bush protect America's sovereignty, or is this too a job the Minuteman Project will have to do for him?

Mr. Corsi is the author of several books, including "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry" (along with John O'Neill), "Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil" (along with Craig R. Smith), and "Atomic Iran: How the Terrorist Regime Bought the Bomb and American Politicians." He is a frequent guest on the G. Gordon Liddy radio show. He will soon co-author a new book with Jim Gilchrist on the Minuteman Project.

Texas Hiway Construction

Immigration & Foreign Affairs
Texas Segment of NAFTA Super Highway Nears Construction

by Jerome R. Corsi
Posted Jun 21, 2006

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The Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) is ready to begin construction in 2007, building the first segment of what is planned to be a NAFTA Super Highway stretching from Mexico to Canada. As we have previously written, the NAFTA Super Highway is planned to begin at Laredo, Tex., proceeding north to Kansas City via Oklahoma City, and ultimately connecting with Canadian limited-access highways north of Duluth, Minn.

On March 11, 2005, a "Comprehensive Development Agreement" was signed by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to build the "TTC-35 High Priority Corridor" parallel to Interstate 35. The contracting party involved a limited partnership formed between Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A., a publically listed company headquartered in Spain, owned by the Madrid-based Groupo Ferrovial, and a San Antonio-based construction company, Zachry Construction Corp.

The Comprehensive Development Agreement called for Cintra-Zachry to provide private investment of $6 billion "to fully design, construct and operate a four-lane 316 mile toll road between Dallas and San Antonio for up to 50 years as the initial segment of TTC-35." For this, Cintra-Zachry paid Texas $1.2 billion for the long-term right to build and operate the initial segment as a toll facility. The contract envisioned that Cintra-Zachry would develop a plan to build the entire TTC from Laredo to the border of Oklahoma, along Interstate 35, with the intention to connect into an Oklahoma constructed segment of the NAFTA Super Corridor. The development plan called for Cintra-Zachry to specify the near term five-year plan (2005-2010), mid-term (2010-2025), and long-term (after 2025), in what was envisioned to be a 50-year project involving the construction of a network of TTC roads throughout Texas.

In April 2006, TxDOT released a 4,000 page Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for what was described as the "Trans-Texas Corridor - 35 (TTC-35) Oklahoma to Mexico/Gulf Coast Element," a title consistent with the goal to build a new highway parallel to I-35, designed to connect Mexico into a U.S. corridor that would continue with the Oklahoma segment of a NAFTA Super Corridor extending ultimately to Canada.

The April 2006 EIS made clear that Cintra-Zachry had expanded the original corridor concept to the ultimate plan of building a 1,200 foot-wide (approximately four football fields wide) complex involving ten lanes of highway -- five lanes in each direction, north and south, with three lanes in each direction reserved for passenger vehicles and two separate lanes reserved for trucks. The EIS design included six rail lines running parallel to the highway, with separate rail lines in each direction for high-speed rail, commuter rail, and freight rail. Finally, the design called for a 200-foot wide utility corridor that include pipelines for oil and natural gas, pipelines for both water, cables for telecommunications and data, as well as electricity towers running the length of the TTC.

The international design of the TTC was made clear by the EIS statement of purpose:
The purpose of TTC-35 is: To improve the international, interstate, and intrastate movement of goods and people; address the anticipated transportation needs of Texas from the Texas/Oklahoma state line to the Texas/Mexico border and/or Texas Gulf Coast along the I-35 corridor for the next 20 to 50 years; and, sustain and enhance the economic vitality of the State of Texas. (EIS Executive Summary, page ES-3)
An artist's rendition presented in the EIS showed what the full build-out would look like.

Expanding beyond the I-35 corridor, TxDOT plans to build a network of super-corridor highways throughout Texas.

The plans ultimately call for building some 4,000 miles of highway-railway-utility super-corridors throughout Texas over the next 50 years, using some 584,000 acres of what is now Texas farm and ranchland, at an estimated cost of $184 billion. Since a corridor nearly a quarter-mile in width will be difficult to cross, these super-corridors are envisioned to virtually divide the land through which they pass. The design calls for TTCs to route around cities, leaving intra-city transport largely to the existing network of limited access interstate highways. These TTC toll-road super-corridors will function primarily to facilitate international trade and secondarily to serve as alternative routes for those inter-city private travelers willing and able to pay the added toll cost.

The design of the NAFTA Super Corridor calls for the border crossing at Laredo to be no more than a speed-bump. Already, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America working committees organized within the Department of Commerce have determined that Mexican trucks traveling in FAST lanes will typically be screened only by SENTRI system electronic checks. The first customs stop is a Mexican customs stop that is being built in Kansas City at a cost of $3 million to U.S. taxpayers. A brochure on the website of Kansas City's Smart Port describes the ultimate goal to bring containers from the Far East and China into Mexican ports, such as Lazaro Cardenas, bypassing the Longshoremen's union in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and to transport the containers via Mexican railroads and trucks into the U.S. over the NAFTA Super Corridor, bypassing the United Transportation Union and the Teamsters.

TxDOT is planning on holding public hearings on TTC-35 beginning in July 2006. Yet, from examining the agenda of the public hearings, the focus seems more aimed at modifying routes and expressing concerns about design. With a signed contract in place with Cintra-Zachry and with money having been accepted by TxDOT for building the road, stopping the road at this point does not seem to be a question that the TxDOT considers on the table. Comments at the public hearings may modify design issues, but from every indication, construction of TTC-35 is scheduled to begin in 2007.

After the Kelo et al. v. City of New London by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 23, 2005, TxDOT will not have to worry about obtaining whatever 584,000 acres would be needed to build a 4,000 mile network of the TTC super-highways. Kelo determined that a governmental entity could exercise eminent domain to force private property owners to sell their land for economic development, even if the development envisioned were to be undertaken by a private entity, such as the Cintra-Zachry limited partnership.

Mr. Corsi is the author of several books, including "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry" (along with John O'Neill), "Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil" (along with Craig R. Smith), and "Atomic Iran: How the Terrorist Regime Bought the Bomb and American Politicians." He is a frequent guest on the G. Gordon Liddy radio show. He will soon co-author a new book with Jim Gilchrist on the Minuteman Project.

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