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The United States of North America
October 3, 2006 3:56 AM   Subscribe

Serious plans are now being formulated and carried out to merge the United States, Canada, and Mexico into one EU-like entity. The Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) entered into by Paul Davis (then PM of Canada), President of Mexico Vincente Fox, and President Bush celebrated its first anniversary in March 2006. The White House would like you to know that no formal agreement was signed at Crawford in March 2005, and that claims to the contrary are made by conspiracy theorists. While most discussion of this subject is reserved for highly partisan / special interest news sources, there has been some major news network coverage: Lou Dobbs on CNN.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... (73 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'll believe it when Mexicans stop being harrassed at the border.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:08 AM on October 3, 2006


Dobbs has jumped the shark.
posted by caddis at 4:14 AM on October 3, 2006


Surely the submitter meant Paul Martin (Canadian PM).
posted by clevershark at 4:18 AM on October 3, 2006


Paul Davis? I never appointed anyone named Davis. I think you're making this up.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 4:20 AM on October 3, 2006


clevershark:
yes, I meant Paul Martin. Paul Davis is the representative for my Congressional district in Kansas, and it's very early. meh.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 4:22 AM on October 3, 2006


Smart for Mexico. Stupid for Canada.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:23 AM on October 3, 2006


It's not an EU-like thing at all, but a very limited set of agreements. Wake me when we can work and live in both Canada and Mexico like EU people can move within their union.
posted by amberglow at 4:33 AM on October 3, 2006


And is it good for the United States...um...I predict there will be lots of horrible new jobs for the influx. I'll bet big corporations love this one...Too bad if American citizens are inevitably forced into the same. I also like Lou Dobbs' comments on how it is really impossible that the US people will be in any way more safe when the only border to be protected is that of all of North America.
posted by Fisherkitty at 4:36 AM on October 3, 2006


Serious plans are now being formulated and carried out to merge the United States, Canada, and Mexico into one EU-like entity.


Did you even read the link you provided or are you ignorant of what is actually involved in the EU?
posted by srboisvert at 4:39 AM on October 3, 2006


NAFTA was actually much more of a big deal--it caused big job outflow and nothing in.
posted by amberglow at 4:39 AM on October 3, 2006


Even if it was like the EU in terms of what it entailed it would be nothing like the EU in terms of outcome. North America is only three economies, one of which is utterly dominant. The EU involves 25 countries, four of which are major global economies - Germany, the UK, France and Italy - and which are
similar sizes. The US is about eight times the size of Mexico and Canada combined.

That alone would make it difficult to enjoy the kind of fun squabbles that characterise EU summits.
posted by rhymer at 4:52 AM on October 3, 2006


In the EU there is one currency, a central bank, a supra-national court, a government, a parliament (albeit somewhat powerless) and other such governing bodies.

I don't think there is the slightest chance the current US will allow such institutions to be placed above them. So if anything, Bush is probably trying to add some more states to the US, but this time more peacefully than the last time he tried it.
posted by beno at 5:08 AM on October 3, 2006


Unity, bah. Divided States of America, now that would be interesting. Something like this, perhaps...

(Just don't give them Jesuslanders any nukes)
posted by lifeless at 5:20 AM on October 3, 2006


You know, you can't make up shit like this. No, wait, you can!
posted by substrate at 5:25 AM on October 3, 2006


To the extent that this comes true, don't be surprised when North America increasingly resembles South America in concentration of wealth. You read it here first.
posted by pax digita at 5:28 AM on October 3, 2006


This is really nothing like the modern day European Union at all. The original EC back in the 1950s and 1960s was basically a bunch of treaties involving several levels of functional government that were better off shared or commonly set, rather than individually (ie: energy issues, agriculture, commerce).

However, the EC has grown into the modern day EU which is much more of a supra-national organization.

What is being discussed in this article is more like the original EC, with a focus on border and security issues being shared by the three states.

I don't know enough detail about the proposal, but on the surface I can say that there isn't a rat's chnace in hell of this proposal going anywhere based on Americans' general loathing for NAFTA and all it represents. All you need to do is pitch this as "NAFTA 2" and you'll have every red-blooded American up in arms over this proposal.

There may be some legitimate benefits to this plan (though, again, on the surface I doubt it), but I cannot see this ever gaining traction.
posted by tgrundke at 5:41 AM on October 3, 2006


Reminds me of a book by David Foster Wallace.
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:53 AM on October 3, 2006


What a great way to start the day!
/sarcasm
posted by stinkycheese at 6:11 AM on October 3, 2006


I also think this is pretty silly. To the contrary some American legislation to require Canadians to show their passports when they cross the US border (among other border-tightening rules) is about to come into effect soon (although it might be delayed).

I'm not against that, mind you, just as long as we require the same of US tourists coming to Canada. Not that we'll ever have a government with enough spine to draft that legislation, mind you.
posted by clevershark at 6:12 AM on October 3, 2006


Given the Republican majority want to pass laws to make it illegal to provide even the most basic services to illegal immigrants, this EU concept is going NOWHERE. Uh uh. Not gonna happen.
posted by bim at 6:15 AM on October 3, 2006


I'd liken this to being trapped in a small swimming pool with a morbidly obese man. The morbidly obese man is apparently drowning, flailing about and making a lot of noise. He is coming towards you and screaming "help". You know that if he gets a hand on you, he is going to pull you down and you are going to drown as well. Just as you start thinking about getting out of the pool however, you see the morbidly obese man has a gun in his hand, and it's pointed at you!

Quick, what do you do?
posted by stinkycheese at 6:31 AM on October 3, 2006


Quick, what do you do?

Freeze the pool water and open a hockey rink.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:34 AM on October 3, 2006


Quick, what do you do?

Toss him a pizza and a liter of coke to keep him occupied, then run like hall!
posted by bim at 6:37 AM on October 3, 2006


Yes.
I see this happening.
And Americans are all going to learn to speak three languages, English, Spanish and Canadian.
Blink.
Blink.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:39 AM on October 3, 2006


so...now we don't need that fence, right?
posted by HuronBob at 6:41 AM on October 3, 2006


stinkycheese writes "Quick, what do you do?"

Is anyone else getting the mental image of an anvil? Anyone?
posted by clevershark at 6:42 AM on October 3, 2006


I also think this is pretty silly. To the contrary some American legislation to require Canadians to show their passports when they cross the US border (among other border-tightening rules) is about to come into effect soon (although it might be delayed).

I'm not against that, mind you, just as long as we require the same of US tourists coming to Canada. Not that we'll ever have a government with enough spine to draft that legislation, mind you.


People will need a passport for entering the US by air in Jan 2007, and by car/boat by Jan 2008 from Canada, Mexico and Bermuda. Having the Canadians require USians to have a passport wouldn't require any spine at all. It will keep them from getting stuck with Americans the US won't let back in w/o their passport.

Canadians and Mexicans will need to show a passport [or possibly a NEXUS card for Cannucks or a BCC for Mexicans] at land ports of entry in 2008. However, from the US State Department's website, it looks like the land-based travel rules haven't been sorted out.
posted by birdherder at 6:44 AM on October 3, 2006


so...now we don't need that fence, right?

I have heard some folks grumbling that the reason the government is letting "so many" immigrants across the border is because this will happen in a few years anyway. See, that's why nobody built the huge wall!
posted by sonofsamiam at 6:45 AM on October 3, 2006


This is all part of our masterful plan here in Canada. The first step involved tricking Americans into thinking we ever had a Prime Minister named Paul Davis.
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 7:00 AM on October 3, 2006


Don't be surprised when North America increasingly resembles South America in concentration of wealth.

No points for predicting an existing trend.
posted by Artw at 7:08 AM on October 3, 2006


I'd liken this to being trapped in a small swimming pool with a morbidly obese man.

If he's morbidly obese, he'll float like a life preserver. Hang on for dear life.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:14 AM on October 3, 2006


monju: He's crazy too. I forgot to mention that.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:18 AM on October 3, 2006


Interesting, the State dept. link does specify that the requirement will be for travellers to and from Canada. I was not aware of this.
posted by clevershark at 7:18 AM on October 3, 2006


Jim Davis was prime munster of Canada? Before or after Garbfeld the Cat cartoons?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:18 AM on October 3, 2006


garbfield is like an entire meadow full of clothing.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 7:25 AM on October 3, 2006


He's crazy too. I forgot to mention that.

And full of holes. And he has leaden bones. I mean uranium.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:34 AM on October 3, 2006


Exactly. He's most definitely going down.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:38 AM on October 3, 2006


ONAN
posted by Dr.James.Orin.Incandenza at 7:52 AM on October 3, 2006


This is awesome. I regret the "EU-like" comparison, without which there might have been more discussion of the possible future directions and effects of the SPP, which is what I was hoping for in posting this...

tgrundke, thank you for finding a more apt comparison

Sad that the loss of my metafilter FPP virginity, much like the loss of my actual virginity, involves the morbidly obese and pools. I kid.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 8:19 AM on October 3, 2006


Sorry for the derail, DtHo. What I'm trying to say is, as a Canadian, this looks to me like a situation which can only (further?) doom us as a nation. The sad fact is that we seem forced by geography to join the United States in its race to the bottom, and there's precious little we can do about it. It sucks, but it isn't surprising in the least.

NAFTA is a complete joke, as evidenced by the recent softwood lumber agreement. This is just more of the same. To make another analogy, we're being fucked in the ass with no vaseline (to paraphrase O'Shea Jackson, one of your great social critics).

Also, I know you've already addressed this, but it really doesn't help when you get the name of our Prime Minister wrong. Just remember, he was PM PM. Or PM Squared, if you prefer.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:33 AM on October 3, 2006


Quoth Lou Dobbs: ". . . it's . . . a mind-boggling concept."

Is it that easy to boggle Lou's mind because his head's so huge and pumpkin-like? Plenty of room for something to rattle around in there, I guess.

Anyway, as a Canadian, I fear any US-led continental integration. For now, if no one's willing to repeal NAFTA, I'd settle for the US honouring its commitments and not pissing all over the agreement every time it's convenient (see the softwood lumber fiasco, among others). And for trade in labour as free as trade in goods so I can move to New York if I want to and work for the magazines that undercut the ones I write for on the newsstand and pay three times as much. (This is next to impossible under current US labour law.)

Why, I think I might just write a letter to that effect to our new prime minister, Tim Horton.
posted by gompa at 8:37 AM on October 3, 2006


Don't you love the names these guys come up with?
The Security and Prosperity Partnership sounds so much better than the Natural Resources, Cheap Labor, and Armed to the Teeth Greed Coalition.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:41 AM on October 3, 2006


I see your PM Tim Horton and I raise you a President Krispy Kreme.
posted by nyxxxx at 8:52 AM on October 3, 2006


Just as you start thinking about getting out of the pool however, you see the morbidly obese man has a gun in his hand, and it's pointed at you!

Actually I think its a BLT made with Canadian Back Bacon in his hand and he's got a bottle of cerveza in the other. What's keeping you in the pool are the goons in dark suits standing poolside wearing funny ear pieces and giving you threatening looks every time to try to leave.

and there's precious little we can do about it

We could say no...

(but we wont)
posted by squeak at 9:31 AM on October 3, 2006


Who really listens to Lou Dobbs anyway? The man has same grasp of economics as that little Scrat rodent in Ice Age has of the acorn. To listen to Lou Dobbs is to reduce your IQ by a point a show till you become a little dried puddle of drool lying on the floor being sniffed and peed on by the neighbours dogs.

As for any cooperative agreement, we have NAFTA for trade, NORAD for defence and no coherent people moving mechanism. So really, aside from that, what doesn't work well?
posted by pezdacanuck at 9:36 AM on October 3, 2006


Wow, a dude I work with has been predicting this for a while.

Granted, he believes that the world is also run by the Lizard Kings and Elders of Zion and that Princess Di was secretly a kung fun ninja master who ran afoul of the Bilderburg Group and needed to be eliminated, but hey, even a stopped clock, right? Right?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:42 AM on October 3, 2006


The first step involved tricking Americans into thinking we ever had a Prime Minister named Paul Davis.

Because we all know that George Bush KNOWS the Prime Minister of Canada is Jean Poutine
posted by briank at 9:55 AM on October 3, 2006


briank writes "Because we all know that George Bush KNOWS the Prime Minister of Canada is Jean Poutine"

I'm surprised he realized that we have a Prime Minister and not a President :-)
posted by clevershark at 10:30 AM on October 3, 2006


special interest news sources, there has been some major news network coverage: Lou Dobbs on CNN.

Since when is Lou Dobbs not "highly partisan/special interest"? Obviously he is, he's an idiot and he has some kind of weird hatred of Mexico and a lot of other places.
posted by delmoi at 10:36 AM on October 3, 2006


pezdacanuck: The Lou Dobbs link was to show that this topic has been addressed on a major U.S. news outlet. I rarely watch TV, but Dobbs seems like any other major network pundit, specific political views aside.

delmoi: Dobbs is probably both, I'm sure you're right, but he definitely is mainstream media, and all that link was meant to show was some mainstream media attention.

I heard of this last night via my S.O. via her drunk friend at a coffeeshop, and as I started looking it up I was immediately struck by the lack of major media coverage. Considering that U.S. - Mexico immigration/border issues are constantly in the news, as are job and industry outsourcing issues, I expected more interest.

The process by which this is being implemented also seems very sneaky. After the agreement was reached at Crawford in 2005, the NAFTA office of the Department of Commerce suddenly became extremely busy working on executing it. The SPP was not brought before Congress, although it must be reporting to some committee in Congress in some manner just like any other administrative agency program. I was actually hoping that someone might enlighten me there.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 10:43 AM on October 3, 2006


I'm sure the whole fenced off mexico thing and passports to get back in the US is just a cover operation for the fluid borders plan of the future allowing for the style of work and play found in the EU.
posted by maxpower at 10:47 AM on October 3, 2006


Lou Dobbs? Seriously? Lou fuckin' Dobbs?

Come on, now.
posted by basicchannel at 11:23 AM on October 3, 2006


clevershark writes "I'm surprised he realized that we have a Prime Minister and not a President :-)"

Rick fed him that information.
posted by Mitheral at 11:28 AM on October 3, 2006


this will happen, slowly, in stages. Most major corporations would like this to happen, because it significantly helps them lower cost and expand markets.
posted by cell divide at 11:43 AM on October 3, 2006


The American Ego prevents this. Both Mexico and Canada would do it.

Maybe M and C can just buy a land corridor north-south through the US and do it without? That would nicely split the US between east and west, kinda like it should be anyway.
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:48 AM on October 3, 2006


Derive: I did understand the reference to the Lou Dobbs link, but to me it was still worth mentioning for the less Lou-savy folks that any comment uttered by his nibs is likely to result in compound stoooopidity.

But as to your notation that this issue has not been raised in congress, I'm sure that a paper has circulated at some point. Congress, though not exactly a bastion of intelligent thought (much like the House up here), would likely have circulated a discussion paper at some point and it's probably recorded in proceedings records.
This process is not entirely a new one and though any comparisons to an EU type arrangement are completely erroneous (there is no discussion in the SPP of meeting quotas and GDP targets that Mexico could never meet anyhow). Remember the open skies pacts of the late 80's and the original auto pacts. They all tried to define a braoder trading area that could help improve the NA market place.
posted by pezdacanuck at 12:01 PM on October 3, 2006


Maybe M and C can just buy a land corridor north-south through the US and do it without?


Buy?
posted by poodlemouthe at 12:21 PM on October 3, 2006


delmoi: Dobbs is probably both, I'm sure you're right, but he definitely is mainstream media, and all that link was meant to show was some mainstream media attention.

Right, it's "mainstream" but unless you hear it somewhere else, Lou Dobbs has as much credibility on this issues as your average crazy conspiracy theorist.
posted by delmoi at 12:24 PM on October 3, 2006


Well, a conspiracy theory has to attain a certain critical mass of interest before it will bubble up to Dobbsland. All this stuff about the NAU and the I35 superhighway has been floating around for around a year since I first heard of it, but I see references increasingly often.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:39 PM on October 3, 2006


I kinda liked the 1970's hit songs of Prime Minister Paul Davis, but I always thought "I Go Crazy" was a better title for a Lou Dobbs TV show.

Sad that the loss of my metafilter FPP virginity, much like the loss of my actual virginity, involves the morbidly obese and pools. Not as bad as the experience of most of us MeFites, DtHo. (You did know your nick was going to be abbreviated to that, didn't you?) But this doesn't mean you can start doing daily NewsFilter posts. And here's a tip: if it's associated with any name personality of any American Cable News Channel, it's probably batshit crazy (including Olbermann, but he's the kind of batshit crazy wew like).

Back on topic, this all ties in with the North American SuperCorridor (sonofsamiam's reference to 'the I35 superhighway') which would blow a whole in any border fence big enough to fit Rhode Island through (if R.I. ever wanted to move) and make Alliance, Texas a major "Inland Port". That front page map is enough by itself to give Lou Dobbs an aneurism.
posted by wendell at 12:47 PM on October 3, 2006


If you guys think it can't happen here, and that certain powerful interests don't want it to happen to here, you're gravely mistaken.

I'm of the opinion that it will happen, but hopefully not in my liftetime.
posted by keswick at 12:50 PM on October 3, 2006


This is my favorite Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPPNA) summary link. It talks about the meeting between Bush, Fox, and Martin in Waco, Texas last March and has got a nice bulleted list with an overview of how the merger will take place (which you can either "read into" or not). From what it looks like the main departments and offices from each three countries will be merged so they all have the same procedures, rules, policies. We'll begin seeing more and more about the merger of these 3 countries throughout 2007-08 as plans for the NAFTA superhighway start going into effect. I'm glad my house isn't on the proposed route.
posted by chowder at 12:56 PM on October 3, 2006


So I assume if this is serious, then all the talk of building a wall along the Mexican border is just a joke?
posted by JJ86 at 2:30 PM on October 3, 2006


I don't know how serious it is, but let us say that this talk is more serious than the wall talk.

Which one would make current holders of office more money? That's the better bet.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:35 PM on October 3, 2006


Anyway, as a Canadian, I fear any US-led continental integration.

Yes you should. The end game (per the tin foil hat) crowd is a unified currency tied to the US dollar (or something called the Amero?)

The idea is thus:

The US Dollar represents the taxing power of the US government/the 'economic productivity'. If the US Dollar had a bigger base, the more stable it would be.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:59 PM on October 3, 2006


Which one would make current holders of office more money? That's the better bet.

dingdingding! give that man a cigar.
posted by keswick at 3:49 PM on October 3, 2006


All they're doing is expanding I-35 to six lanes (which does seem rather crazy.
posted by delmoi at 6:02 PM on October 3, 2006


I can't imagine it would be wise for Canada to tie its dollar to the American dollar, which is currently mostly owned by the Chinese. No way in hell do we Canucks want to share your freakin' massive debt!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2006


It's not about whats in the best interest of Canada or the US, it's about what's in the interest of the multi-nationals.
posted by keswick at 7:39 PM on October 3, 2006


true, that.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:53 PM on October 3, 2006


eustacescrubb: really? which one?
posted by Infinite Jest at 9:21 PM on October 3, 2006


I've looked for it online before, and still can't find it, but there was a cartoon in Toronto's NOW Magazine back about the time NAFTA was all the rage. Turn on your mental paintboxes and imagine:

a politcal map of N.America:
Mexico is labelled "Manufacturing"
USA is labelled "Retail"
& Canada is labelled "Parking"

that about perfectly summed it up for me.

PS if anyone can find that map online, please post the URL
posted by I, Credulous at 2:15 AM on October 4, 2006


It's not about whats in the best interest of Canada or the US, it's about what's in the interest of the multi-nationals.

hmm yes and no. Harmonizing food regulations (for instance) would benefit corporations but what about sharing information per the smart border agreement? How far should Canada go in sharing information about its citizens with another country? Should we force Canadian airlines to share passenger manifests with American authorities even if the plane only passes through American airspace on its way from say, Toronto to Montreal?
posted by squeak at 1:51 AM on October 5, 2006


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