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NEW ORLEANS -- For a summit of three countries doing nearly $1 trillion worth of business with each other every year, President Bush's two-day meeting with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts began Monday as a decidedly low-voltage affair.
But despite the quiet start, the annual event is taking place against the backdrop of the U.S. presidential campaign, which has deepened the political sensitivity of the leaders' efforts to expand trade and wrestle with other issues, such as immigration and border congestion.
With the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America Leader Summit in New Orleans fast approaching, there are calls to rename and relaunch this whole process. This could be in an effort to try and kickstart the SPP as it is encountering fierce resistance. Beware because any new incarnation could be seen as a victory when in reality nothing would have changed except for the name.
There is little doubt that the SPP is in need of a drastic makeover in order to give it a new lease on life. The U.S. think tank Hudson Institute has stated, “it may ultimately be necessary to redesign and relaunch a new process to take up the work of the SPP under a new acronym.” This follows a recent report by the Fraser Institute which called for expanding and fast tracking the SPP. Co-author of the report, Alexander Moens, said of the SPP, “the time has come to rebrand the talks and give them a clear mandate.” The report also called for changing the SPP’s name to the North American Standards and Regulations Area (NASRA).
Originally posted by aecreate
They're just making sure everything's going according to plan.
I could have sworn there was a thread on the
NAU/SPP name change, if someone could provide a link,
unless it was deemed RATS material..
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — President Bush chastised lawmakers on Tuesday for letting international trade deals falter in Congress and criticized Democratic presidential contenders for wanting to scrap or amend the vast North American free-trade zone.
At the close of a two-day summit, Bush, along with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, stood solidly behind the North American Free Trade Agreement. Under NAFTA, trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico has swelled from roughly $290 billion in 1994 to an estimated $1 trillion by the end of this year.
"Now is not the time to renegotiate NAFTA or walk away from NAFTA," Bush said. "Now is the time to make it work better for all our people. And now is the time to reduce trade barriers worldwide."
NEW ORLEANS—Prime Minister Stephen Harper threw out a warning today to all those in the United States, including Democratic presidential candidates, who are musing about reopening the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Canada will go back to the table if necessary, Harper said, but the U.S. might find that it pays the price in terms of the Canadian energy it buys.
"Canada is the United States' number-one supplier of energy. We are a secure, stable supplier. That is of critical importance to the future of the United States," he said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush used a meeting with Mexican and Canadian leaders Monday to hammer Democrats who oppose a free trade deal between the U.S. and Colombia, saying that blocking the deal is "bad for American workers and bad for our security."
Democrats in the House of Representatives, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have moved to change rules so they would not be forced to vote on the deal with Colombia.
"Unfortunately, we had a setback in a very important free trade agreement with Colombia," Bush told a New Orleans civic group after meeting with Calderon and Harper. "The deal is dead unless she changes her mind -- and that's bad for American workers and it's bad for our security."
The agreement was signed by Mexico's Interior Secretariat Juan Camilo Mourino Terrazo and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff on the sidelines of the ongoing North American leaders' annual summit here.
The aim of the agreement is to establish a framework to promote, develop and facilitate bilateral cooperation activities in science and technology and other national security issues, according to a press release from the Mexican delegation.
The agreement will enable both countries to share experiences in the application of technologies for the construction of biometric date, the processing of visa applications, the issuing of passports and records of entering and leaving the country.
Busy construction sites might offer a glimpse of the future when it comes to logistics, as thousands of Mexican truck drivers make Memphis their destination.
But the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union is leading an uphill battle to stop the incursion of Mexican-based trucks and drivers into the United States, part of a one-year demonstration project related to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Since September, Mexican-based trucks have been allowed to haul freight to the interior of the U.S., beyond the original zone just 20 miles inside the border.
As Interstate 69 - the NAFTA Highway - comes together, Memphis will be the midpoint between Port Huron, Mich., and Laredo, Texas, along that future road.