New Video Highlights Protection of Cascade Locks Water

This new video on the community fight to protect Cascade Locks OR water from being bottled and shipped by Nestlé needs to be watched and shared! Alliance for Democracy is an endorser of the campaign.

A ballot measure for Hood River County, in which the town of Cascade Locks is located, seeks to block the export of water by by banning any water bottling operation that produces 1,000 gallons or more a day. Nestlé expects to package 11 times that amount from Oxbow Springs in an average hour. The group Local Water Alliance is backing the measure, and you can learn more about them, and support their work, at their website.

Protesters converge on Nestlé bottling plants in Sacramento and LA

The outrage over the bottling of California water by Nestlé, Walmart and other big corporations during a record drought has become viral on social media and national and international press websites over the past couple of months.

On May 20, people from across the state converged on two Nestlé bottling plants – one in Sacramento and the other in Los Angeles – demanding that the Swiss-based Nestlé corporation halt its bottling operations during the state’s record drought.

Wednesday’s protest, led by the California-based Courage Campaign, was the third in Sacramento over the past year. The first two protests were “shut downs” this March and last October organized by the Crunch Nestlé Alliance. For my report on the March protest, go to:….

For over an hour Wednesday, over 50 protesters held signs and marched as they chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, Nestlé Waters has got to go,” “Water is a human right! Don’t let Nestlé win this fight,” and “Keep our water in the ground, Nestle Waters get out of town.”

One eight-foot-long banner at the Sacramento protest read: “Nestle, 515,000 people say leave California’s precious water in the ground,” referring to the total number of signatures on the petitions.

At the protests, activists delivered the 515,000 signatures from people in California and around the country who signed onto a series of petitions to Nestlé executives, Governor Brown, the California State Water Resources Control Board,  and the U.S. Forest Service urging an immediate shutdown of Nestlé’s bottling operations across the state.

The petitions were circulated by Courage Campaign,, CREDO, Corporate Accountability International, Avaaz, Food & Water Watch, Care2, and Daily Kos.

In Sacramento, local activists and residents joined residents from San Francisco and Oakland who took buses to protest outside Nestlé’s bottling plant at 8670 Younger Creek Drive. View photos from the Sacramento protest here:… in California.

Jessica Lopez, the Chair of the Concow Maidu Tribe, participated in the protest with her daughter, Salvina Chinook.

“I stand here in solidarity with everybody here demanding the protection of our water rights,” said Chair Lopez. “Nestle needs to stop bottling water during this drought. Why have they obtained their current permits to pump city water?”

Tim Molina, Strategic Campaign Organizer for the California-based Courage Campaign, who spoke at the Sacramento event, said to the crowd, “Today we are saying enough is enough. With people across California doing their part to conserve water — it’s time that Nestlé did the right thing and put people over profits –  by immediately halting their water bottling operations across the State.”

“If Nestlé won’t do what’s right to protect California’s precious water supply, it is up to Governor Brown and the California Water Resource Control Boards to step in and stop this blatant misuse of water during our State’s epic drought,” he said.

“Bottling public water for private profit doesn’t make sense for communities and it doesn’t make sense for the environment,” said Sandra Lupien, Western Region Communications Manager at Food & Water Watch, also at the protest in Sacrmaento. “During a historic drought crisis, it is utter madness to allow corporations like Nestlé to suck our dwindling groundwater and sell it for thousands of times what it pays. Putting a halt to water bottling in California is a no-brainer and Governor Jerry Brown must stand up to protect Californians’ public resource.”

After the activists gave the petitions to Nestle representatives at the Sacramento plant, the Nestle supervisor presented the organizers with a letter from Tim Brown, President and CEO of Nestle Waters North America, responding to a letter from the Courage Campaign.

Brown wrote, “Keep in mind that beverages consumed in California but not bottled in the state must be shipped a longer distance, which has its own drawbacks, such as the environmental impact of transportation. Sourcing water in California provides water with a lower carbon footprint, which has a beneficial environmental impact. The entire bottled industry accounts for 0.02 percent of the annual water used in California.”

The company said it also would like to engage in “thoughtful dialogue” with the water bottling opponents.

“We appreciate the opportunity to engage in thoughtful dialogue – and in meaningful action – to address California’s water challenges. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you – in person or over the phone – to advance our shared desire for a more sustainable California. We are hopeful that the public discussion we are all engaged in around water use – including your efforts – leads to positive collective action.”

In 2014, Nestlé Waters used about 50 million gallons from the Sacramento municipal water supply to produce “Nestlé Pure Life® Purified Drinking Water” and for other plant operations, according to a statement from Nestlé Waters. To read the city of Sacramento’s responses to my questions about the Nestlé bottling plant’s use of city water, go to:…)

In Los Angeles, local activists and residents were joined by people from Orange County and Long Beach who took buses to protest outside Nestlé’s bottling plant at 1560 East 20th Street.

The representatives from consumer, environmental and human rights groups who participated in the protest, like at the protest in Sacramento, blasted the corporation for making millions off bottled water during the drought when urban users are seeing increasing restrictions on their water use.

“As California’s water supplies dry up, Nestlé continues to make millions selling bottled water and that’s outrageous!” explained Liz McDowell, campaigner for “We’ve stood up to Nestlé exploiting natural resources for profit in the past everywhere from Pakistan to Canada, and now the global community is speaking out before California runs completely dry.”

The Desert Sun reported earlier this month that Nestlé was bottling water in desert and drought-stricken areas of California and selling it for profit, all while its permit for water pipelines and wells in the San Bernardino National Forest lists 1988 as the year of expiration. Nestlé currently extracts water from at least a dozen natural springs in California for its Arrowhead and Pure Life brands.(…)

A majority of people in the U.S. believe Nestle should stop bottling in California, according to a recent poll. However, in spite of the clear and growing public outcry, when asked about the controversy, Nestlé CEO Tim Brown remarked that he wished the multinational corporation could bottle more water from the drought stricken state, the groups pointed out.

“Nestlé is profiteering at the expense of the public interest,” stated Zack Malitz, Campaign Manager at CREDO Action. “In the midst of an historic drought with no end in sight, it is wildly irresponsible for Nestle to extract vast amounts of California’s water.”

Joe Baker, Care2’s Vice President of Advocacy and Editorial, said, “Care2 and its 30 million members are an online community standing together for good – and it is not good for the public to have Nestle bottling our water during an extreme drought in California. We’re asking Nestle to do the responsible thing for the public good, and stop bottling water in a drought-stricken area. Every single drop counts.”

“For decades, Nestle has demonstrated a blatant disregard for local communities and the environment,” said Erin Diaz, the campaign director at Corporate Accountability International’s Think Outside the Bottle campaign. “In response to community concerns about its backdoor political dealings and environmental damage, Nestle has poured millions into PR and greenwashing campaigns. But Nestle’s money can’t wash away its abysmal track record, and Californians are demanding an end to Nestle’s abusive practices.”

John Tye, Campaign Director, Avaaz, concluded, “Families across the American West are already paying a steep price for mismanagement and scandalous selloffs of public resources. It’s time for California, and Governor Brown, to set a strong example for conservation and responsive regulation. Tens of thousands of people across the country are tired of watching companies like Nestlé profit at the expense of the taxpayers.”

The protests take place as Jerry Brown continues to push his plan to construct two massive tunnels under the Delta, potentially the most environmentally destructive protect in California history. The twin tunnels would divert massive quantities of water from the Sacramento River to be used by corporate agribusiness interests irrigating drainage impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, as well as to Southern California water agencies and oil companies conducting fracking and steam injection operations.

The construction of the tunnels would hasten the extinction of winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other imperiled fish species, as well as threaten the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

But the tunnels plan is just one of the many environmentally destructive policies of the Brown administration. Governor Brown has presided over record water exports and fish kills at the Delta pumping facilities; promotes the expansion of fracking in California; pursues water policies that have driven Delta smelt, winter-run Chinook salmon and other fish species closer to extinction; and authorized the completion of questionable “marine protected areas” created under the helm of a big oil lobbyist during the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative. (…)

The groups are now urging everybody to sign the pledge by Daily Kos, Courage Campaign and Corporate Accountability International: Do not drink bottled water from Nestlé:…

This is the text of the pledge to Nestlé Corporation:

I pledge to choose tap water instead of buying the following Nestlé products: Acqua Panna, Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Nestea, Nestlé Pure Life, Ozarka, Perrier, Poland Spring, Resource, S. Pellegrino, Sweet Leaf, Tradewinds and Zephyrhills.

For more information, go to:…

The Superhighway Facts: Report on North American Corridor planning

For MAPS and easier viewing visit the original article.




compiled by Dee Finney

Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port

 The Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port, or “Prairie Gateway” is a virtual combination of services and a cluster of numerous transportation, distribution and assembly players working and investing together. This is the best way to maximize the existing transportation assets across an integrated region, with many transportation, production, storage, trans-loading, assembly, product identification and research resources working as a team. This base will draw additional investment, labour and technology as a catalyst for a host of new ancillary business service companies.

What is an Inland Port?

An Inland Port is defined less on the physical aspects of one location and more on the intelligent logistics and coordination of a multitude of services.  It has the following qualities:

  1. Is an organization or coalition made up of key transportation stakeholders
  2. Serves the regional trading area businesses and economy
  3. Facilitates growth for both import and export trade logistics
  4. A mechanism for cooperation, marketing the regions trade processing abilities
  5. Provides national coordination and collaboration among ocean port users

Why Saskatchewan?

Like the Kansas City Smart Port regional model, the Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port will be anchored by “connecting” the three major cities of Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Regina. This will promote regional asset and system optimization. It is proposed that Saskatchewan’s central continental location and lower costs would be of sufficient appeal to attract international investor attention. The high level of cooperation among the principal transportation centres of Saskatchewan, through the tri-cities will generate distinct advantages, including:

  1. Integrate and maximize the unique sub-regional advantages of each community to generate even greater synergies than each community could achieve by working separately;
  2. Provide a value-enhancing alternative to the various less coordinated and smaller scale and scope terminals, hubs or trans-loading sites existing in other parts of Canada;
  3. Foster freight movement productivity through modernization of regulatory reform (i.e. highway road weight limits) and preservation of freight-corridor efficiency on road, rail and air.


Bush Administration Quietly
Plans NAFTA Super Highway
By Jerome R. Corsi
Human Events

Quietly but systematically, the Bush Administration is advancing the plan to build a huge NAFTA Super Highway, four football-fields-wide, through the heart of the U.S. along Interstate 35, from the Mexican border at Laredo, Tex., to the Canadian border north of Duluth, Minn.
Once complete, the new road will allow containers from the Far East to enter the United States through the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas, bypassing the Longshoreman’s Union in the process. The Mexican trucks, without the involvement of the Teamsters Union, will drive on what will be the nation’s most modern highway straight into the heart of America. The Mexican trucks will cross border in FAST lanes, checked only electronically by the new “SENTRI” system. The first customs stop will be a Mexican customs office in Kansas City, their new Smart Port complex, a facility being built for Mexico at a cost of $3 million to the U.S. taxpayers in Kansas City.
As incredible as this plan may seem to some readers, the first Trans-Texas Corridor segment of the NAFTA Super Highway is ready to begin construction next year. Various U.S. government agencies, dozens of state agencies, and scores of private NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have been working behind the scenes to create the NAFTA Super Highway, despite the lack of comment on the plan by President Bush. The American public is largely asleep to this key piece of the coming “North American Union” that government planners in the new trilateral region of United States, Canada and Mexico are about to drive into reality.
Just examine the following websites to get a feel for the magnitude of NAFTA Super Highway planning that has been going on without any new congressional legislation directly authorizing the construction of the planned international corridor through the center of the country.
* NASCO, the North America SuperCorridor Coalition Inc., is a “non-profit organization dedicated to developing the world’s first international, integrated and secure, multi-modal transportation system along the International Mid-Continent Trade and Transportation Corridor to improve both the trade competitiveness and quality of life in North America.” Where does that sentence say anything about the USA? Still, NASCO has received $2.5 million in earmarks from the U.S. Department of Transportation to plan the NAFTA Super Highway as a 10-lane limited-access road (five lanes in each direction) plus passenger and freight rail lines running alongside pipelines laid for oil and natural gas. One glance at the map of the NAFTA Super Highway on the front page of the NASCO website will make clear that the design is to connect Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. into one transportation system.
* Kansas City SmartPort Inc. is an “investor based organization supported by the public and private sector” to create the key hub on the NAFTA Super Highway. At the Kansas City SmartPort, the containers from the Far East can be transferred to trucks going east and west, dramatically reducing the ground transportation time dropping the containers off in Los Angeles or Long Beach involves for most of the country. A brochure on the SmartPort website describes the plan in glowing terms: “For those who live in Kansas City, the idea of receiving containers nonstop from the Far East by way of Mexico may sound unlikely, but later this month that seemingly far-fetched notion will become a reality.”
* The U.S. government has housed within the Department of Commerce (DOC) an “SPP office”    that is dedicated to organizing the many working groups laboring within the executive branches of the U.S., Mexico and Canada to create the regulatory reality for the Security and Prosperity Partnership. The SPP agreement was signed by Bush, President Vicente Fox, and then-Prime Minister Paul Martin in Waco, Tex., on March 23, 2005. According to the DOC website, a U.S.-Mexico Joint Working Committee on Transportation Planning has finalized a plan such that “(m)ethods 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.” The report notes that new SENTRI travel lanes on the Mexican border will be constructed this year. The border at Laredo should be reduced to an electronic speed bump for the Mexican trucks containing goods from the Far East to enter the U.S. on their way to the Kansas City SmartPort.
July 11, 2007

RCMP, U.S. Army block public forum on the Security and Prosperity Partnership

The Council of Canadians has been told it will not be allowed to rent a municipal community centre for a public forum it had planned to coincide with the next Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) summit in Montebello, Quebec on August 20 and 21.

The Municipality of Papineauville, which is about six kilometres from Montebello, has informed the Council of Canadians that the RCMP, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and the U.S. Army will not allow the municipality to rent the Centre Communautaire de Papineauville for a public forum on Sunday August 19, on the eve of the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership Leaders Summit.

“It is deplorable that we are being prevented from bringing together a panel of writers, academics and parliamentarians to share their concerns about the Security and Prosperity Partnership with Canadians,” said Brent Patterson, director of organizing with the Council of Canadians. “Meanwhile, six kilometres away, corporate leaders from the United States, Mexico and Canada will have unimpeded access to our political leaders.”

As well as being shut out of Papineauville, the Council of Canadians has been told that the RCMP and the SQ will be enforcing a 25-kilometre security perimeter around the Chateau Montebello, where Stephen Harper will meet with George W. Bush and Felipe Calderón on August 20 and 21. According to officials in Montebello, there will be checkpoints at Thurso and Hawkesbury, and vehicles carrying more than five people will be turned back.

Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s largest citizens’ organization, with members and chapters across the country. The organization works to protect Canadian independence by promoting progressive policies on fair trade, clean water, safe food, public health care, and other issues of social and economic concern to Canadians. –

For more information, contact:
Stuart Trew, media contact: Tel.: (613) 233-4487, ext. 228; Cell: (613) 292-2218;

For more information about the Security and Prosperity Partnership, visit

June 13, 2007

Atlantica will harm Canadian economy says Maude Barlow

Maude Barlow, chairperson of the Council of Canadians, is speaking in Halifax today to warn Atlantic Canadians of the dangers of Atlantica – a proposal by the Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce (APCC) and the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) to integrate the easternmost provinces with northeastern United States.

“This scheme will give the United States greater access to Canadian resources without benefiting Canadians,” says Barlow.

Local union representatives have stated that there is no advantage to the local economy when unrefined oil, gas and other materials are sent to the United States to be refined by American workers.

U.S. business interests will be central to this agenda given that just this week the Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce appointed American business executive Jonathan Daniels as its chairman.

The Council of Canadians warns that Atlantica is part of a larger agenda led by corporations to integrate the economies of Canada, the United States and Mexico known as the Security and Prosperity Partnership of Canada (SPP). All three governments have confirmed that they will be using the SPP to further the Atlantica agenda.

The Council of Canadians is asking Atlantic Canadians to speak out against this regional integration plan that will weaken Canada’s ability to protect jobs, natural resources and the public interest.

Maude Barlow will being speaking against Atlantica this coming Wednesday June 13 at 6:30 pm at the Scotiabank Auditorium, Dalhousie University Hall along with Scott Sinclair of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Alejandro Villamar of Red Mexicana de accion frente al libre comercio.

For more information, contact: Kyle Buott: (902) 422-7811; (902) 444-9437;


Deep Integration – 2007[11-July-07] RCMP, U.S. Army block public forum on the Security and Prosperity Partnership

[13-June-07] Atlantica will harm Canadian economy says Maude Barlow

[01-May-07] Maude Barlow addresses Parliament on the Security and Prosperity Partnership


Deep Integration

* The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is overseeing the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) as the first leg of the NAFTA Super Highway. A 4,000-page environmental impact statement has already been completed and public hearings are scheduled for five weeks, beginning next month, in July 2006. The billions involved will be provided by a foreign company, Cintra Concessions de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A. of Spain. As a consequence, the TTC will be privately operated, leased to the Cintra consortium to be operated as a toll-road.
The details of the NAFTA Super Highway are hidden in plan view. Still, Bush has not given speeches to bring the NAFTA Super Highway plans to the full attention of the American public. Missing in the move toward creating a North American Union is the robust public debate that preceded the decision to form the European Union. All this may be for calculated political reasons on the part of the Bush Administration.
A good reason Bush does not want to secure the border with Mexico may be that the administration is trying to create express lanes for Mexican trucks to bring containers with cheap Far East goods into the heart of the U.S., all without the involvement of any U.S. union workers on the docks or in the trucks.
Copyright © 2006 HUMAN EVENTS. All Rights Reserved.


The front page of the Spring 2007 OKLAHOMA CONSTIUTION carries a story about this 1200 ft wide corridor from Mexico to Canada,
problems already happening with eminent domain in Texas, and Senator Randy Brogdon’s efforts to head it off before it gets here. This
‘corridor’ is a spin-off from NAFTA and CAFTA and efforts to create a NORTH AMERICAN UNION similiar to the EU

Senator Brogdon has introduced an ammendment to HB1819 that will “…prohibit the state’s department of transportation from
participating or entering in any negotiation or agreement with NASCO.”(North America’s SuperCorridor Coalition) and SCR-10 urging
the United States Government to withdraw from the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America and any activity which seeks
to create a North American Union.

How NAFTA superhighway is built under radar screen
Officials say they see no budget ‘earmarks,’ because they don’t know where to look
Ask some members of Congress about plans to build a “NAFTA superhighway” connecting Mexico and Canada via the U.S. and you
might hear snickers. Some officials will tell you they have seen no “earmarks” for such a plan and question whether it even exists.
But the plan does exist and the NAFTA superhighway is being built – under the radar screen.
Congressman: Superhighway about North American Union
Paul says goal is common currency, borderless travel, bigger bureaucracy

Posted: October 30, 2006
12:41 p.m. Eastern
© 2006 

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas

WASHINGTON – Rep. Ron Paul, a maverick Republican from Texas, today denounced plans for the proposed “NAFTA superhighway” in his state as part of a larger plot for merger of the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a North American Union.

“By now many Texans have heard about the proposed ‘NAFTA Superhighway,’ which is also referred to as the trans-Texas corridor,” he said in a statement. “What you may not know is the extent to which plans for such a superhighway are moving forward without congressional oversight or media attention.”

Paul explained that most members of Congress are unaware of the plans because only relatively small amounts of money have been spent studying the plans and those allocations were included in “enormous transportation appropriations bills.”

The proposed highway is part of a broader plan advanced by a quasi-government organization called the ‘Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America,’ or SPP,” he explains. “The SPP was first launched in 2005 by the heads of state of Canada, Mexico, and the United States at a summit in Waco.”

No treaties were involved, and Congress was not included in discussions or plans, he says.

“Instead, the SPP is an unholy alliance of foreign consortiums and officials from several governments,” according to Paul. “One principal player is a Spanish construction company, which plans to build the highway and operate it as a toll road. But don’t be fooled: The superhighway proposal is not the result of free market demand, but rather an extension of government-managed trade schemes like NAFTA that benefit politically connected interests.”

Paul says, however, the real issue raised by the superhighway plan and the SPP is national sovereignty.

“Once again, decisions that affect millions of Americans are not being made by those Americans themselves, or even by their elected representatives in Congress,” says Paul. “Instead, a handful of elites use their government connections to bypass national legislatures and ignore our Constitution – which expressly grants Congress the sole authority to regulate international trade.”

The ultimate goal, he says, is not simply a superhighway “but an integrated North American Union – complete with a currency, a cross-national bureaucracy and virtually borderless travel within the union. Like the European Union, a North American Union would represent another step toward the abolition of national sovereignty altogether.”

Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va., has introduced a resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the U.S. should not engage in the construction of a NAFTA superhighway, or enter into any agreement that advances the concept of a North American Union.

“I wholeheartedly support this legislation and predict that the superhighway will become a sleeper issue in the 2008 election,” says Paul. “Any movement toward a North American Union diminishes the ability of average Americans to influence the laws under which they must live. The SPP agreement, including the plan for a major transnational superhighway through Texas, is moving forward without congressional oversight – and that is an outrage. The administration needs a strong message from Congress that the American people will not tolerate backroom deals that threaten our sovereignty.”

Related offers:

For a comprehensive look at the U.S. government’s plan to integrate the U.S., Mexico and Canada into a North American super-state – guided by the powerful but secretive Council on Foreign Relations – read “ALIEN NATION: SECRETS OF THE INVASION,” a special edition of WND’s acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine.

Get Tom Tancredo’s new book, “In Mortal Danger,” from the people who published it – WND Books.

Previous stories:

‘North American Union’ major ’08 issue?       Resolution seeks to head off union with Mexico, Canada    Documents reveal ‘shadow government’

Tancredo: Halt ‘Security and Prosperity Partnership’     North American Union threat gets attention of congressmen    Top U.S. official chaired N. American confab panel

N. American students trained for ‘merger’    North American confab ‘undermines’ democracy     Attendance list North American forum

North American Forum agenda     North American merger topic of secret confab     Feds finally release info on ‘superstate’

Senator ditches bill tied to ‘superstate’     Congressman presses on ‘superstate’ plan      Feds stonewalling on ‘super state’ plan?

Cornyn wants U.S. taxpayers to fund Mexican development     No EU in U.S.     Trans-Texas Corridor paved with campaign contributions?

U.S.-Mexico merger opposition intensifies     More evidence of Mexican trucks coming to U.S.     Docs reveal plan for Mexican trucks in U.S.

Kansas City customs port considered Mexican soil?    Tancredo confronts ‘superstate’ effort    Bush sneaking North American superstate without oversight?

Related columns:

Coming soon to U.S.: Mexican customs office    Merger with Mexico

Texas governor clears way for NAFTA superhighway
Vetoes legislation to delay big transportation corridor

Posted: June 22, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2007

The path has been cleared for the state of Texas to begin building the new Trans-Texas Corridor, a project that is designed to be four football fields wide, along Interstate 35 from Mexico to the Oklahoma border, according to a new report from WND columnist Jerome Corsi, the author of “The Late Great USA.”

The way was opened when Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, vetoed a series of proposals the Texas Legislature
assembled to slow down the work on what is considered to be a key link in a continental NAFTA superhighway network.

Perry’s latest veto was of a plan to add a number of requirements to the Texas eminent-domain procedures, under
which governments can grab and use private property.

But, Corsi reported, Steven Anderson of the Institute for Justice’s Castle Coalition, objected. He said Perry’s action
“left every home, farm, ranch and small-business owner vulnerable to the abuse of eminent domain.”
Earlier, Corsi reported, Perry vetoed a plan to impose a two-year moratorium on the TTC project.

As WND previously reported, these measures were approved overwhelmingly by the Texas Legislature.

On learning that Perry had vetoed the eminent-domain legislation, Corridor Watch, a public advocacy group that
opposes the TTC project, responded immediately.

“It sure didn’t take TxDOT long to shake off the legislative session and resume their headlong rush to use every
available loophole, exception and remaining authority to build toll roads and grant toll road concessions just as
fast as possible,” the organization said.

Corridor Watch also noted that in the 49 bills Perry vetoed June 15 were measures that would have required TxDOT
to consider using existing highway routes for future TTC routes and a bill that called on the Texas attorney general
to study the impact of international agreements on Texas.

An override of Perry’s vetoes is unlikely, since the governor threatened to call a special session of the lawmakers to
handle transportation issues if his veto fell by the wayside.

As WND has previously reported, the $180 billion needed to build the 4,000-mile TTC network planned for
construction over the next 50 years will be financed by Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A.,
a foreign investment consortium based in Spain. Cintra will own the leasing and operating rights on TTC highways
for 50 years after their completion is complete.

WND also has reported Perry has received substantial campaign contributions from Cintra and Zachry Construction 
Company, the San Antonio-based construction firm selected by TxDOT to build out the TTC.

And WND has established that Cintra is represented in the United States by Bracewell and Giuliani, Republican Party
presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani’s Houston-based law firm.

Just this week, WND reported TxDOT already is moving to apply its four-football-fields-wide NAFTA superhighway
plan of building new train-truck-car-pipeline corridors to the states of Oklahoma and Colorado in a design that stretches
from the Mexican border at Laredo, Texas, to Denver, Colo.

WND has documented a significant reason for the projects is to connect truck traffic from Mexican ports on the Pacific,
such as Lazaro Cardenas, to U.S. roads. Mexican ports are being increasingly used as an alternative to West Coast ports
such as Los Angeles and Long Beach as a cheaper, non-union alternative for the import of millions of containers from

WND also has reported the Department of Transportation plans to start a Mexican truck demonstration project as early
as Aug. 15, despite continuing objections from Congress.


‘I propose a North American Community’

Posted: May 9, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Robert A. Pastor


Lou Dobbs, Patrick Buchanan, Jerome Corsi and many of their readers have repeatedly accused me of:

  • Promoting a North American Union;
  • Promoting a North American currency called the “Amero”;
  • Seeking to dissolve the United States, erase our borders and discard the Constitution; and
  • Being the principal author of the Bush administration’s “Security and Prosperity Partnership” and strategy toward
    North America.

Some have written that they have drawn these conclusions from reading my book, “Toward a North American Community”
(Institute for International Economics, 2001), my article, “North America’s Second Decade” (Foreign Affairs, January/
February 2004), and the Council on Foreign Relations Independent Task Force Report, “Building a North American
Community,” of which I was one of six co-chairs.

If they had read what I have written, they would know that all the accusations above are false. I don’t want to speculate as to
why these individuals would repeat unfounded charges, or why this news site would continue to repeat them. Instead, let me
summarize my views on the future of North America, recognizing that my brief distillation does not adequately capture my
analysis or proposals, but at least it is a fair summary. (This stands in contrast with those who twist my work to make their
points rather than mine. For those who want to review my work, visit the website of the Center for North American Studies
and its publications.)
First, while some want to build formidable barriers to keep out Mexico and Canada, I would argue the opposite: We need to
find new ways to relate in a positive way to our two neighbors. The reason is simple: No two nations are as important to the
United States as Canada and Mexico. Our two largest trading partners are not England and China, but Canada and Mexico.
The two largest sources of energy imports are not Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, but Canada and Mexico. For the past three
decades, Mexico has been, by far, the largest source of both legal and illegal migration to the United States. There are roughly
500 million legal crossings of both borders each year, and the preferred tourist destination of Canadians, Mexicans and
Americans is their neighbors in North America.

Second, while some view the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, as a failure that should be repealed, I believe
it was a success for what it was designed to do, but it is no longer enough to cope with the challenges of an enlarged market and
a more competitive international system. NAFTA succeeded in reducing barriers and tripled trade and investment among the
three countries, making it the largest free-trade area in the world in terms of gross product. It failed because we need to do
more than just reduce trade and investment barriers. It did not address the problem of illegal migration; it ignored the issue
of border security; it failed to reduce the income gap between Mexico and its northern neighbors; it created no institutions
or consultation procedures that would manage the problems in the relationship and improve people’s lives in a demonstrable
way. That is why I propose a “North American Community,” whose premise is that all three sovereign countries benefit when
each of the countries makes progress, and all suffer when one fails. Trade benefits all three countries, and a more prosperous
Mexico in the long-term means less illegal migration. But “trade” is not enough to address problems that emerge from an
expanding market.

Third, I do not propose a North American Union; I propose a North American Community. They are very different. A Union –
like the United States – is a merger of states into a unified central government. A Community is composed of three sovereign
governments that seek to strengthen bonds of cooperation. Each government – according to its constitutional procedures –
retains the power to decide whether and how to cooperate. A “North American Union” could not be created by “stealth,”
as some fear. Indeed, any significant initiative to strengthen cooperation would require a wide-ranging and public debate and
approval by Congress of all three countries.

Fourth, because of the asymmetry in power and wealth, Mexico and Canada have always been wary of getting too close to the
United States, while Washington has often treated its neighbors with arrogance. For these reasons, the real problem in North
America is the opposite of what worries Dobbs, Buchanan and Corsi. The problem is not that a North American Union will
suddenly emerge; the problem is that there will be little or no progress on a continental-wide agenda that could help the region
become more secure and economically competitive. The critics claim that the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on North
America prompted the three governments to begin the “Security and Prosperity Partnership” in the spring of 2005. If so, that
would be a compliment, except that initiative is very timid, little more than an administrative exercise that measures progress by
the number of meetings bureaucrats schedule.

Fifth, I have offered numerous proposals to build a North American Community, which would be very different from the European
Union, and I welcome debate on any or all. First, we need an institution – not the supra-national, intrusive bureaucracies of Europe,
but a lean advisory group of five senior leaders from each of the three countries. It could be called a North American Commission
or Council. Its members could be selected by Congress and the president, and its function would be to propose an agenda,
proposals and ideas for the governments and people of the three countries to debate and consider at annual summit meetings.

Such proposals could include a Customs Union (common external tariff) to eliminate needless rules of origin, a North American
Investment Fund to reduce the development gap with Mexico, a North American Competition Commission to prevent continental
monopolies, a North American Tribunal on Trade and Investment to replace the ad hoc and weak mechanism set up under
NAFTA, a North American Plan for Infrastructure and Transportation, and more effective way to stop illegal migration while
facilitating the legitimate flow of people.

I know some desperately fear a North American Super-Corridor, but two-thirds of all the trade among the three countries are on
roads, and despite the fact that trade has tripled, there have been almost no new roads built. We need to coordinate closely with
our neighbors to build more roads – not fewer – as part of a wider transportation plan.

With regard to currencies, there is little prospect of a unified currency because all three governments are too committed to the
status quo, but this is a good moment to study alternative options. Europe took decades and made many mistakes before they
implemented the euro. We ought to learn from those lessons and discuss the issues at some length before considering any proposal.

In summary, there is no prospect of a North American Union or currency, but there are compelling needs for the three sovereign
nations of North America to modernize their relationships, and there are good reasons to explore new paths to improve the lives
of all the peoples of North America. The greatest tragedy would be if the fear-mongers were to discourage people from imagining
a better relationship with our neighbors and a North American Community.

U.S. parkway leased to Aussie firm
Opponents see tie to feds’ sell-off of infrastructure to foreigners

Posted: January 18, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007

A decision by the Virginia Department of Transportation to lease the Pocahontas Parkway to an Australian 
investment consortium is drawing sharp criticism from opponents of public-private partnerships promoted by
the Federal Highway Administration.
The VDOT signed a comprehensive agreement June 29, 2006, to lease the 8.8 mile Pocahontas Parkway toll road
for 99-years to Transurban, an Australian investment consortium, for a one-time payment of $548 million and an
agreement to construct a 1.58 mile, four-lane extension to Richmond International Airport.

The extension of the Pocahontas Parkway is pending a decision of the of the U.S. Department of Transportation
to provide a $150 million construction credit to Transurban under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and 
Innovation Act, or TIFIA.

Kenneth White, president of the Virginia Taxpayers Association, testified Monday before the Virginia House and
Senate Joint Budget Committees he objected that the VDOT had paid a $2,000 fee, plus expenses, for Barbara Reese,
VDOT’s chief financial officer, to attend a September 2006 conference by EuroMoney Seminars at the Waldorf
Astoria Hotel in New York City.

WND previously reported EuroMoney Seminars, a UK-based company, intends to hold a seminar in Miami
March 19-21 entitled “PPP: The North American Private Partnerships Intensive Seminar,” designed to teach a small
number of state and local government officials how to lease a wide range of public assets – including highways and
water departments – to international and foreign private investment groups. The cost of attending the March 2007
EuroMoney seminar in Miami is $3,500 per person.

White, who has led his group for 34 years, objected to the Virginia congressional committees that Reese “was a
programmed speaker at an unpublicized conference, the unlawful purpose of which was to expedite selling
highways in Virginia and elsewhere in the United States to private commercial interests, many of them foreign.”

In an e-mail to WND, Jeff Caldwell, VDOT assistant director of Public Affairs explained:

Barbara Reese is recognized nationally as an expert in public-private transportation financing as well as
other innovative financing methods. Ms. Reese served on a panel at the September 2000 EuroMoney’s
North American PPP 2006 conference on infrastructure, along with other government experts from around
the country. Ms. Reese did not pay any conference registration fee. Travel costs totaled $581 in accordance
with state guidelines.

White told WND his group objects to VDOT using state funds to send any VDOT employee to the planned
March 2007 EuroMoney seminar in Miami, even if the expenses were limited to travel, hotel and meals.

The Virginia Taxpayers Association’s fundamental objection is that the VDOT has no right to lease to foreign
interests state highways built with taxpayer money. White made this claim in his testimony to the Virginia House
and Senate Budget Committees:

Virginia citizens were not told that the Pocahontas Parkway – which last June was leased to Transurban of
Australia for 99 years – would be an opening wedge for a wholesale foreign consortium takeover of major
U.S. interstates, under the NAFTA Superhighway System, with several south-north Mexico to Canada
corridors, where foreigners would levy tolls without review by any U.S. elected officials and would even
have eminent domain to grab millions of acres of valuable farm and urban land for the corridors.

Virginia is celebrating its 400th birthday this year – the Jamestown settlement, from which Pocahontas became
famous, was founded in 1607.

The Virginia Taxpayers Association contends it is “clearly unlawful for any state government, as a separate entity,
to take money from the sale of highways which have been fully paid for by, and which belong to, state and federal
taxpayers, and not to the state government itself.”

The Federal Highway Administration currently features the Pocahontas Parkway lease as a case study on its newly
created website promoting what is becoming widely known within international investment banking as “PPP,” or
“Public-Private Partnerships.”

The FHWA website provides detailed “how-to” information for state legislators and department of transportation to
follow in making decisions to lease state highways to foreign investment groups.

White’s testimony also supported Senate Joint Resolution No. 387, which has been introduced into the Virginia Senate
by state Sen. Roscoe Reynolds. The resolution calls on the Virginia General Assembly to oppose any connections with
Virginia highways that may be made in connecting a NAFTA Superhighway corridor through Virginia.

Reynolds’ resolution also specifies support for H.C.R. 487, which was introduced by U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va., to
the House of Representatives in the previous Congress, calling for the House to oppose both NAFTA Superhighways
and the creation of a North American Union.

As reported by WND, the resolution was co-sponsored by Reps. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.; Ron Paul, R-Texas; and
Walter Jones, R-N.C. WND also has reported Goode is preparing to re-introduce the resolution to the new Congress.

Related offers:

Whistleblower magazine’s current issue, “PREMEDITATED MERGER,” shows how leaders are stealthily transforming 
the USA into a North American Union.

If you wish to order by phone, call our toll-free order line at 1-800-4WND-COM (1-800-496-3266).

NAFTA Superhighway

Another Nail in the Coffin for U.S. Border Security

By Mark Stuart ELLISON
Published Sep 07, 2006
Click to contact me

At the time of this writing, there’s a story just below radar that’s poised to explode onto front pages all over America: the NAFTA
Superhighway. And it should scare the hell out of everyone

Jerome Corsi, who earned a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard, describes the Superhighway in a June 12, 2006 article in
Human Events Online, a conservative website. According to Dr. Corsi, the mammoth road system is being quietly pushed by the
Bush Administration. The proposed superhighway would be about 400 yards wide and run along U.S. Interstate 35 from the
Mexican border at Loredo, Texas to the Canadian border above Duluth, Minnesota.

According to the Ambassador Bridge website, the Superhighway would facilitate commerce between Mexico, Canada, and the
U.S. pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was signed by the leaders of those three nations
in 1994. Ambassador Bridge, owned by the Detroit Bridge Company on the U.S. side, and the Canadian Transit Company on the
Canadian side, is the busiest crossing between the U.S. and Canada, according to the website. The owners of Ambassador Bridge
are members of the NAFTA Superhighway Coalition (NASCO). 

According to Ambassador Bridge, NAFTA trade among the three countries is expected to reach $ 1.5 trillion by 2010, and 75
percent of trade between the U.S. and Canada, America’s primary trading partner, is by truck. The website says that the
Superhighway is good for the economies of all three nations and will provide jobs in towns near Highway 401, which serves the
Canadian side of the Bridge.

Ambassador Bridge also says that the parties to NAFTA are obliged to build the Superhighway to “safely and efficiently” handle
the increased road traffic projected over the next few years. Traffic safety is fine and dandy, but what about the safety of
American borders?

In his Human Events article, Dr. Corsi writes that the proposed superhighway would allow containers from our good buddy China,
and other parts of the Far East, to enter the U.S. through a Mexican port without assistance from American longshoremen, a
situation which has their union up in arms.

Mexican trucks, without Teamsters Union help, would cross the U.S. border in express lanes scanned only by a new electronic
technology called the SENTRI System. The first customs stop for the trucks would be at a yet-to-be-built Mexican customs office
in Kansas City, whose three-million-dollar cost would be paid for by Kansas City taxpayers, according to Dr. Corsi.

The border at Loredo should be reduced to an electronic speed bump” for trucks coming from our good neighbor to the south carrying Far
Eastern items, writes Dr. Corsi. According to a July 14, 2006 commentary by Teamsters president Jim Hoffa, most Mexican drivers
interviewed by an independent investigative reporter said they had used illegal drugs to stay conscious while driving, and many said they
were involved in fatal crashes. 
Hoffa also said that Mexican trucks are uninsured.

In this age of terrorism and porous borders, the NAFTA Superhighway is yet another nail in the coffin for U.S. domestic security. American
sovereignty should not be for sale. Our border security is being sacrificed on the altar of the NAFTA Superhighway to gain a perceived
economic advantage which may prove elusive.

In contrast to the rosy economic picture painted by Ambassador Bridge, the Teamsters  fear layoffs. According to Hoffa, NAFTA has caused
the loss of three million American manufacturing jobs and one million Mexican farms. Hoffa says that under NAFTA, Mexican wages have
dropped significantly, fueling illegal immigration to the U.S.

Whenever a Teamsters boss and a conservative commentator agree on anything, we’re all in trouble.

Dr. Corsi notes that President Bush has been silent on the issue, and that Congress has not drafted any legislation authorizing construction
of the Superhighway. In other words, American leaders are out to lunch on the biggest proposed revamping of the U.S. interstate system
since the Eisenhower Administration.

In his Human Events article, Dr. Corsi strongly suggests that the NAFTA Superhighway is a backdoor plan to create a North American
Union similar to the European Union, but without the open debate that occurred prior to the formation of the latter entity.

The U.S. already has open borders with Canada, a stable, prosperous nation with which it shares a common heritage and culture. Given the
widely reported attempted Canadian border crossings by several terrorists in recent years, we may have to modify that arrangement. In
this climate, it is the height of insanity to have a superhighway which would create a de facto open border with Mexico, a country that has
serious issues of  corruption, poverty, and civil unrest.

In a June 5, 2006 article in World Net Daily, Dr. Corsi sites the Kansas City SmartPort website, which notes that in March 2005, Kansas
City signed an agreement with the Mexican state of Michoacan, in which the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas is located. The agreement is
intended to facilitate commerce between Lazaro Cardenas and Kansas City. Under this arrangement, Far Eastern goods would be quickly
moved into America’s heartland with cheap, non-union, Mexican labor.

According to the World Net Daily article, shipments would be monitored by intelligent transportation systems (ITS), including GPS and
radio frequency identification, between Kansas City and other parts of the U.S. The agreement calls for prescreening cargo in Southeast
Asia and repeatedly scanning it with X-rays and gamma rays upon arrival in Mexico before it is sent to the U.S.

Sounds good on paper, except when you consider that there are already massive holes in current security systems employing similar
technology for items arriving in the U.S. If the United States can’t trust its own systems to keep Americans safe, how can it possibly rely
on dubious partners?

Another major problem is expense. An article in the August 3, 2006 online edition of the Duluth News Tribune notes that the Superhighway
will cost Texas alone $ 145 billion to $ 183 billion. The Minnesota DOT, which, according to the News Tribune, is in “preservation-only mode”,
has budgeted  $ 800 million in new road construction over the past decade. The DOT is considering whether to join NASCO, but has no idea
of how it would raise the required funds.

The News Tribune reports that the Texas DOT is holding public hearings this summer. At least somebody’s waking up. It’s about time.
Rumour of ‘NAFTA superhighway’ has Americans fearing for sovereignty

Are North American governments secretly conspiring to build a “NAFTA superhighway,” four football fields wide, from Mexico
to Canada to bypass regulatory controls and whisk goods swiftly to market?

If you believe some right-wing websites in the United States, it’s all but a fait accompli. They insist a gargantuan project is in the
works that will carve a 365-metre-wide swath through the continent’s heart, with 10 traffic lanes, rail lines for freight and
passenger trains, fibre-optic cable lines and pipelines carrying oil, gas and water.…1-0c93f24478b9 

NAFTA superhighway extends north
Plan under way in Texas will extend to Oklahoma, Colorado

Posted: June 21, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2007
A NAFTA superhighway plan under way in Texas will be extended to Oklahoma and Colorado, stretching the four-lane,
train-truck-car-pipeline corridor from the Mexican border at Laredo, Texas, to Denver, reports WND columnist Jerome 
Corsi, whose new investigative book, “The Late Great USA: The Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada,” has just 
been released.

As WND has reported, the Federal Highway Administration is promoting public-private partnership projects to expand
superhighway projects, consistent with extending the Trans-Texas Corridor network north.

The plan is for the states of Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado to apply the TTC toll road concept first developed by the
Texas DOT to largely rural areas along the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.

To advance this plan, the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor Coalition – sponsored by the consulates of Mexico and Canada
along with the Texas and Colorado transportation departments – is co-sponsoring a “Great Plains 2007” international 
conference Sept. 19-21 at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Denver.

The brochure recommends the conference be attended by real estate developers, transportation planners, highway
services business executives, as well as state, local, county and municipal public officials and international trade
An April Texas DOT study on the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor Coalition website documents the tie between the
two groups.

The study says the Ports-to-Plains Corridor offers an opportunity to apply the Trans-Texas Corridor technology to
NAFTA superhighway development in rural settings. It concludes by recommending new highway construction be
undertaken parallel to the existing Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor route in order to apply the superhighway design
north through Oklahoma into Colorado.

As WND previously reported, the $180 billion needed to build the 4,000 mile Trans-Texas Corridor network over the
next 50 years will be financed by Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A., a foreign investment
consortium based in Spain. Cintra will own the leasing and operating rights on TTC highways for 50 years after
construction is complete.

press release on the Texas DOT website confirms the agency is looking for a public-private-partnership to help
finance the construction of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.
WND also has reported Texas Gov. Rick Perry has received substantial campaign contributions from Cintra and
Zachry Construction Company, the San Antonio-based construction firm selected by the Texas DOT to build the

The homepage of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor Coalition website proclaims, “Together, the communities along the
Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor are becoming the Gateway to trade throughout the nation and with Mexico and

The homepage also links the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor to the millions of containers from China that are
planned to enter North America through Mexican ports, commenting, “The Trade Corridor will allow for the
development of less congested ports of entry along the Texas/Mexican border.”


About Oklahomans for Sovereignty and Free Enterprise, Inc:Welcome to

Oklahomans for Sovereignty and Free Enterprise, Incorporated (OK-SAFE) is a non-profit 501 c4 Oklahoma
Corporation made up of individuals and coalition groups dedicated to the Principles of American Free
Enterprise and the Constitutional Sovereignty of Oklahoma and the United States of America.

OK-SAFE sees a concerted, dedicated and well funded effort by Social and Economic Elites to transition the
United States from a Representative Republic to a Socialist Group Democracy and finally into a World
Governmental Structure.

We find evidence to conclude the following Institutional transitions are well underway:

Political – Servant to Master
Monetary – Asset Credit to Outcome Credit
Intellectual – Education to Indoctrination
Ecclesiastical – God to Religion

OK-SAFE seeks to advance and defend the American principles of sovereignty and free enterprise through
Public education, Issue advocacy and Governmental lobbying and is actively addressing the following areas:

Illegal Immigration,
Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPPNA),
North American Competitiveness Council (NACC),
Public Private Partnerships (PPP or 3P’s),
North America SuperCorridor Coalition (NASCO),
Trade Agreements (NAFTA, CAFTA, FTAA etc),
North American Community/Union (NAU) and
United Nations Agenda 21

Accordingly we issue a call for American Patriots to come together, to unite the citizens and statesmen of the
Republic of the United States of America, for the purpose of maintaining our nation’s sovereignty, to reinstate
our Constitutional and Natural Rights, and to free the American people from institutional servitude. We pursue
this cause with Honor, Dignity, and Courage, while acknowledging that unless God keeps our nation and guides
her steps, we will have labored in vain.

Constitution & Law
See other Constitution & Law Articles

Title: NAFTA Superhighway Ready To Roll
Source: Worldnetdaily
URL Source: ARTICLE_ID=56304
Published: Jun 22, 2007
Author: Jerome Corsi
Post Date: 2007-06-24 19:14:39 by wudidiz

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, has vetoed a series of bills passed by the Texas Legislature, clearing the way for the
Texas Department of Transportation to begin construction on the four-football-fields-wide new Trans-Texas Corridor along
Interstate 35 (TTC-35) from the Mexican border at Laredo north to the Oklahoma border south of Oklahoma City.

On Friday, June 15, Perry vetoed an eminent-domain reform bill passed by the Legislature. Provisions in the bill would have
made prohibitively expensive the acquisition of the thousands of acres of private land needed to construct the Trans-Texas

In vetoing the bill, Perry’s office issued a press release claiming House Bill No. 2006 “would vastly expand the cost to Texas
taxpayers of public projects to the point where they grossly outweigh the bill’s benefits.”

Steven Anderson, director of the Institute for Justice’s Castle Coalition, objected.

“With this veto, Governor Perry has left every home, farm, ranch and small-business owner vulnerable to the abuse of eminent
domain,” Anderson said in a press release.

Anderson’s organization is a national grass-roots advocacy group that works to block private-to-private transfers of property
using eminent domain.

A month earlier, on May 18, Perry vetoed House Bill No. 1892, a measure that would have imposed a two-year moratorium on
beginning construction on the Trans-Texas Corridor parallel to Interstate 35.

In that veto message, Perry claimed the bill “jeopardizes billions of dollars of infrastructure investment and invites a potentially
significant reduction in federal transportation funding.”

As WND previously reported, these measures were approved overwhelmingly by the Texas Legislature, with HB 1892 passing
the Texas House by a 137-2 margin. HB 2006 passed with 125 of the 150 votes in the House and unanimously in the Senate.

When HB 2006 cleared the Texas Legislature, the Federal Highway Administration Chief Counsel James D. Ray wrote a letter
to the Texas Department of Transportation, or TxDOT, threatening to hold federal highway funds from the state if Perry signed
the bill into law.

Perry’s veto message strongly suggests the FHWA’s threat was heard loud and clear in Austin.

On learning that Perry had vetoed the eminent-domain legislation, Corridor Watch, a public advocacy group that opposes the
TTC project, responded immediately.

Corridor Watch posted on its website: “It sure didn’t take TxDOT long to shake off the legislative session and resume their
headlong rush to use every available loophole, exception and remaining authority to build toll roads and grant toll road
concessions just as fast as possible.”

Corridor Watch also noted that in the 49 bills Perry vetoed June 15 were measures that would have required TxDOT to consider
using existing highway routes for future TTC routes and a bill that called on the Texas attorney general to study the impact of
international agreements on Texas.

To ward off the possibility the Texas Legislature would fight back, Perry threatened to call a “Special Session” to resolve
transportation issues should members vote to override his veto on HB 1892, the moratorium issue.

The 80th Texas Legislature wrapped up its 140-day session May 29, immediately after Memorial Day.

Now, sponsors would have to reintroduce these bills in the next legislative session and start all over again. The Texas
Legislature only meets every other year, unless the governor calls a special session for a specific agenda.

According to, the last time the Texas Legislature overrode a governor’s veto was more than a quarter of a
century ago, in 1979.

As WND has previously reported, the $180 billion needed to build the 4,000-mile TTC network planned for construction over
the next 50 years will be financed by Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A., a foreign investment
consortium based in Spain. Cintra will own the leasing and operating rights on TTC highways for 50 years after their
completion is complete.

WND has also reported Perry has received substantial campaign contributions from Cintra and Zachry Construction Company,
the San Antonio-based construction firm selected by TxDOT to build out the TTC.

WND has established that Cintra is represented in the United States by Bracewell and Giuliani, Republican Party presidential
candidate Rudy Giuliani’s Houston-based law firm.

Even though TTC superhighways will be built by a private investment consortium from Spain, Texas conveniently can make use
of the recent Supreme Court case Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005).

In this case, the Supreme Court decided that eminent domain could be used to seize private property from U.S. citizens even
though the purpose of the land seizure was to benefit a private corporation. The Supreme Court case said nothing that would
imply the private corporation involved would have to be a U.S. firm.

In a question-answer format on the TTC website, a “myth vs. reality” answer explains how TxDOT plans to use what is known
in Texas as “quick-take” eminent domain authority.

The site explains that a Texas state law (passed as HB 3588) allows a quick-take seizure of private property “if TxDOT and
the property owner cannot reach an agreement” on just compensation for the land involved.

Under this law, TxDOT can seize a property on the 91st day after the landowner is served with an official notice of quick-take,
regardless how vociferously the landowner protests.

WND has reported TxDOT is moving moving to apply its four-football-fields-wide NAFTA superhighway plan of building new
train-truck-car-pipeline corridors to the states of Oklahoma and Colorado in a design that stretches from the Mexican border
at Laredo, Texas, to Denver, Colo.

WND has also documented that NASCO (North America’s SuperCorridor Coalition, Inc.), a Dallas-based trade association
supporting the development of Interstate Highways 35, 29 and 94 as international trade corridors, has the state of Oklahoma,
the Minnesota Department of Transportation and TxDOT as members.

The Federal Highway Administration has designated the Ports-to-Plains Corridor as a “High Priority Corridor” on the National
Highway System.

WND repeatedly has reported the Federal Highway Administration is promoting public-private partnership projects to bring
private capital to expanding superhighway projects, consistent with extending the TTC network north into Oklahoma and

The Federal Highway Administration has constructed a section of its government website dedicated to explaining to the states
and the highway construction industry how laws and investment banking structures with foreign capital investors can be designed
to work along the public-private partnership model.

WND has documented that a major purpose of the TTC projects is to connect U.S. roads with Mexican ports on the Pacific,
such as Lazaro Cardenas.

Mexican ports are being increasingly used as an alternative to West Coast ports such as Los Angeles and Long Beach as a
cheaper, non-union alternative for the import of millions of containers from China.

WND has reported the Department of Transportation plans to start a Mexican truck demonstration project as early as Aug. 15,
despite continuing objections from Congress.

Click for Full Text!


Bracewell & Giuliani, the ‘guiding’ law firm on the privatization of Texas State Highway 121
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor

Jun 8, 2007, 00:32

What, you didn’t know a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination is a partner in the Dallas law firm,
Bracewell & Giuliani? It’s among the nation’s largest, with 400 attorneys and nine offices worldwide. And now
B&G is exclusively representing the Spanish company Cintra through the privatization of Texas State 
Highway 121. Anybody want to call Congress and let them know? It’s right here in the linked March 26 Dallas
Business Journal

Yup, Rudy’s at it again, milking the old cash cow, the 9/11 sheriff routine to those sympathetic (rich and wannabe richer)
Texans. The client, Cintra, has signed an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation to finish the State
Highway 121 toll road by 2011, a quarter century faster than possible through traditional sources (i.e. American workers),
according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). What you should also know is that the toll road is part of
the NAFTA Superhighway and construction of the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC).

Independent Journalist Cliff Kincaid nails it in his article Giuliani Linked To “NAFTA Superhighway”: “Evidence s
hows that NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement involving the U.S., Canada and Mexico, is being expanded
without congressional approval or oversight as part of a plan to create an economic and political entity known as the North
American Union.” This is “the project that has people in Texas and around the nation up in arms.”

Kincaid quotes freelance writer Dianne M. Grassi, who originally broke the story of Rudy’s law firm on the TTC 
toll-road project. She comments, “Most interesting to the whole story is not only has Giuliani’s involvement in the
NAFTA Superhighway not ever having been publicly addressed, but how a foreign company is awarded the building of a
mass highway system, versus maintaining it, for the first time in U.S. history, and negotiated by the law firm of the top
Republican candidate running for President of the United States.”

Grassi also points out that “Cintra joined with San Antonio, TX-based Zachry Construction Corp. to help land the contracts,
in which Zachry owns a 20% interest. The Cintra-Zachry proposal for TTC-35 includes a private investment of up to $6
billion in upfront payments for the complete construction, design and operation of a 316-mile toll road between Dallas and
San Antonio, giving Cintra the right to set tolls and keep toll road profits for a period of 50 years, as it will for each road it
has contracted..”

Grassi goes on to say, “The NAFTA Superhighway and its corridors will run from Southwestern Mexico through Laredo,
Austin and Dallas, TX, into Kansas City, KS, serving as an inland customs port. The corridor will split in Kansas with one
leg going to Winnipeg, Canada, through Omaha, NE. The other leg goes to Toronto, Canada, through Des Moines, IA,
Chicago, IL, and Detroit, MI. . . .”

Additionally, Terry Hall, founder and director of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF), notes that “Giuliani
clients with an interest in acquiring Texas roads and infrastructure have also invested in his presidential campaign.

“This could explain why Giuliani has spent so much time fundraising in Texas. The monied proponents of the Trans-Texas
Corridor, of which there are many, would like to see this man become President.”

The big irony here is that Giuliani was opposed to NAFTA, that is, before he became a private business dude with global clients.

This kind of conflict and mixing of interests rolls into the criminal. Especially, as Australian journalist Mark Coultan points out
that Cintra is a financial partner with an Australian company, Macquarie, on a toll-road project in Indiana. It seems 
that Macquarie acquired the business and assets of an investment bank known as Giuliani Capital Advisors,
which sold, according to the Washington Post, “for an undisclosed amount as Giuliani was preparing his run for president.”
The amount is between $76 and $100 million, Coultan writes. This for a bank that ran up a net loss of $1.4 million after generous
salaries to partners. The senior staff, who own about 30 percent of the stock, “will come with the deal.”

Coultan also points just how greedy Rudy can be: “Giuliani has also been criticized for taking excessive fees at charity events.
One occasion involved the Queen Elizabeth Research Hospital in Adelaide, where his reported $200,000 fee left only $15,000
in net proceeds. After criticism, he held a fundraiser in New York which raised $75,000.”

Additionally, Dan Collins and Wayne Barrett pointed out, in an Alternet article,
Why Rudy Giuliani Can’t Stop Cashing in on 9/11.” They wrote, “Giuliani had never seemed particularly concerned about
money — he wouldn’t have been scheming so desperately for a third $195,000-a-year term as mayor if wealth had been his top
priority. But his sudden riches came in handy. His settlement with his former wife, Donna Hanover, in the summer of 2002
called for him to pay her $6.8 million over three years as well as child support. Hanover’s lawyers estimated that Giuliani’s income
in 2002 was $20 million, a little more than half from speaking fees and book advances . . .”

Yet once Rudy got a taste of living large . . .”he quickly adapted to his new lifestyle, demanding first-class flights and
accommodations for himself and his posse when he traveled and purchasing a $4 million summer house in the Hamptons for
himself and Judy Nathan, whom he married in 2003. The couple also have an apartment on Manhattan’s East Side worth more
than $5 million, complete with Rudy’s Yankee diamond rings displayed in wooden boxes, a lithograph of Winston Churchill above
the fireplace, two white Churchill porcelain figures and a Joe DiMaggio shirt encased in glass. . . .”

So it all runs together. Rudy’s profiting from a great tragedy, selling out American interests to foreign interests, major conflicts
of interest between his law firm activities and the funding of his potential run for the presidency, etc. A half dozen writers point
out a common theme: Giuliani’s insatiable greed as a last step into a bent American Dream.

And once more I ask you as I did in Ground Zero illnesses come back to haunt Giuliani, is this really the man you want to
be the Republican presidential candidate, let alone your president? But then look at that clown race and you find the second runner,
Mitt, making his own Times’ headlines, Romney’s Political Fortunes Tied to Riches He Gained in Business. Is this déjà vu
all over again, or just time for a major change in the kind of people we elect to lead this country? I sincerely hope the latter, as well
as for a clean election for once.

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York City. Reach him at © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor

s article Giuliani Linked To “NAFTA Superhighway”: “Evidence shows that NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement involving the U.S., Canada and Mexico, is being expanded without congressional approval or oversight as part of a plan to create an economic and political entity known as the North American Union.” This is “the project that has people in Texas and around the nation up in arms.”

Kincaid quotes freelance writer Dianne M. Grassi, who originally broke the story of Rudy’s law firm on the TTC toll-road project. She comments, “Most interesting to the whole story is not only has Giuliani’s involvement in the NAFTA Superhighway not ever having been publicly addressed, but how a foreign company is awarded the building of a mass highway system, versus maintaining it, for the first time in U.S. history, and negotiated by the law firm of the top Republican candidate running for President of the United States.”

Grassi also points out that “Cintra joined with San Antonio, TX-based Zachry Construction Corp. to help land the contracts, in which Zachry owns a 20% interest. The Cintra-Zachry proposal for TTC-35 includes a private investment of up to $6 billion in upfront payments for the complete construction, design and operation of a 316-mile toll road between Dallas and San Antonio, giving Cintra the right to set tolls and keep toll road profits for a period of 50 years, as it will for each road it has contracted..”

Grassi goes on to say, “The NAFTA Superhighway and its corridors will run from Southwestern Mexico through Laredo, Austin and Dallas, TX, into Kansas City, KS, serving as an inland customs port. The corridor will split in Kansas with one leg going to Winnipeg, Canada, through Omaha, NE. The other leg goes to Toronto, Canada, through Des Moines, IA, Chicago, IL, and Detroit, MI. . . .”

Additionally, Terry Hall, founder and director of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF), notes that “Giuliani clients with an interest in acquiring Texas roads and infrastructure have also invested in his presidential campaign.

“This could explain why Giuliani has spent so much time fundraising in Texas. The monied proponents of the Trans-Texas Corridor, of which there are many, would like to see this man become President.”

The big irony here is that Giuliani was opposed to NAFTA, that is, before he became a private business dude with global clients.

This kind of conflict and mixing of interests rolls into the criminal. Especially, as Australian journalist Mark Coultan points out that Cintra is a financial partner with an Australian company, Macquarie, on a toll-road project in Indiana. It seems that Macquarie acquired the business and assets of an investment bank known as Giuliani Capital Advisors, which sold, according to the Washington Post, “for an undisclosed amount as Giuliani was preparing his run for president.” The amount is between $76 and $100 million, Coultan writes. This for a bank that ran up a net loss of $1.4 million after generous salaries to partners. The senior staff, who own about 30 percent of the stock, “will come with the deal.”

Coultan also points just how greedy Rudy can be: “Giuliani has also been criticized for taking excessive fees at charity events. One occasion involved the Queen Elizabeth Research Hospital in Adelaide, where his reported $200,000 fee left only $15,000 in net proceeds. After criticism, he held a fundraiser in New York which raised $75,000.”

Additionally, Dan Collins and Wayne Barrett pointed out, in an Alternet article, Why Rudy Giuliani Can’t Stop Cashing in on 9/11.” They wrote, “Giuliani had never seemed particularly concerned about money — he wouldn’t have been scheming so desperately for a third $195,000-a-year term as mayor if wealth had been his top priority. But his sudden riches came in handy. His settlement with his former wife, Donna Hanover, in the summer of 2002 called for him to pay her $6.8 million over three years as well as child support. Hanover’s lawyers estimated that Giuliani’s income in 2002 was $20 million, a little more than half from speaking fees and book advances . . .”

Yet once Rudy got a taste of living large . . .”he quickly adapted to his new lifestyle, demanding first-class flights and accommodations for himself and his posse when he traveled and purchasing a $4 million summer house in the Hamptons for himself and Judy Nathan, whom he married in 2003. The couple also have an apartment on Manhattan’s East Side worth more than $5 million, complete with Rudy’s Yankee diamond rings displayed in wooden boxes, a lithograph of Winston Churchill above the fireplace, two white Churchill porcelain figures and a Joe DiMaggio shirt encased in glass. . . .”

So it all runs together. Rudy’s profiting from a great tragedy, selling out American interests to foreign interests, major conflicts of interest between his law firm activities and the funding of his potential run for the presidency, etc. A half dozen writers point out a common theme: Giuliani’s insatiable greed as a last step into a bent American Dream.

And once more I ask you as I did in Ground Zero illnesses come back to haunt Giuliani, is this really the man you want to be the Republican presidential candidate, let alone your president? But then look at that clown race and you find the second runner, Mitt, making his own Times’ headlines, Romney’s Political Fortunes Tied to Riches He Gained in Business. Is this déjà vu all over again, or just time for a major change in the kind of people we elect to lead this country? I sincerely hope the latter, as well as for a clean election for once.

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York City. Reach him at 
Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor



Taxpayers Blast
3-Nation Union Plan

Kenneth White, President
Virginia Taxpayers Association

The Virginia Taxpayers Association says â¤No one should support a presidential candidate of either party who does not strongly oppose the dangerous North American Union already being implemented.â¤?
The powerful bipartisan Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) announced May 24 ( that it will present a report to governments of the United States, Mexico and Canada Sept. 30 on benefits of integrating the three nations into one political, economic and security bloc.
CSIS played a large role in passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, which resembles early stages of the European Community on its way to becoming the European Union.
Rep. Virgil Goode, R-5th., introduced House Concurrent Resolution 40 Jan. 22, which declares (1) that the U. S. should not engage in a NAFTA Superhighway System, (2) that the U. S. should not allow creation of a North American Union, and (3) that the President should indicate strong opposition to these acts or any other proposals that threate8 sovereignty of the United States.
The VTA pointed out that â¤The Bush administration has refused to disclose any information on the North American Union to Congress, despite the fact that scores of employees in the State, Commerce, Labor, Treasury, Transportation, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services Departments and Department of Justice, are already working full time with their coordinates in the governments of Mexico and Canada to bring the NAU into fruition.
â¤In fact the extremely controversial immigration bill now before Congress backed by Bush specifically cites the Security and Prosperity Partnership Agreement (SPP) signed by Bush and his counterparts in Mexico and Canada Mar. 23, 2005, which is a blueprint for building a European Union-style merger of the three countries of North America.
â¤A major element in the NAU is introduction of a new common currency, the Amero, designed to replace the dollar after international value of the dollar falls so seriously under present trends that it will be obvious to everyone that something has to be done to keep the U. S. economy afloat.â¤?
The VTA added that â¤It’s clear the reason Bush is refusing to enforce the law against illegal immigrants crossing our borders is that under the North American Union, which he is bringing into being, there are no borders and no immigrants, whether legal or illegal.
â¤A still more gigantic action Bush has taken, with relatively little notice in the media, is signing a new transatlantic economic partnership between the U. S. and the European Union (BBC, Apr. 30) that will see regulatory standards ⤔harmonized⤠on 40 areas, including intellectual property, financial services, business takeovers and the motor industry. This will lay the basis for merging the U. S. and the EU into one single market, a huge step on the path to a new globalized world order.â¤?
On a related matter the VTA said: â¤Possibly the most dangerous step Bush has ever taken is signing of the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive (NSPD-51) and (HSPD-20) on May 9 that grants near dictatorial powers to the office of the president in the event of a national emergency as declared by the president, (Jerome Corsi,1-hour interview,C-SPAN 5/25/07,
â¤The directive loosely defines ⤔catastrophic emergency⤠as ⤔any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U. S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.â¤
â¤Not only is the power of Congress to terminate emergencies not mentioned in this directive, as it is in the National Emergency Act, U. S. Code Title 50, Chapter 34, Subchapter II, Section 1621, (nowhere referred to in the directive) but the White House press officer made no comment whatever when asked about it.
â¤When the president determines a catastrophic emergency has occurred, he can take over all government functions and direct all private sector activities until the emergency is declared over by the executive, so all conditions of a dictatorship are now in effect.â¤?
An allied event, the VTA said, is the annual meeting of the powerful international Bilderberg Group this past weekend in Istanbul, Turkey, â¤which makes plans on how the prinicipal nations will be brought into a New World Order. Sessions of the secretive group are usually not reported by U. S. media, although they are regularly attended by top executives of the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal and foreign media as well as officials of the Bush administration, selected members of Congress, leaders of the largest financial institutions, multinationals, defense manufacturers, energy companies, David Rockefeller, Kissinger and the Rothschilds.
â¤A top objective of the Bilderbergers, exposed by intrepid investigators James P. Tucker and Daniel Estulin, continues to be an international United Nations carbon tax, imposed without any approval by national legislative bodies, to finance a UN military force, This will get heightened attention in the coming year, yet most Americans and members of Congress are totally unaware of these dangerous plans.â¤?
Public understanding of the present U. S. situation, the VTA said, â¤is impossible without recognition that 9/11 was an inside job, as inadvertently admitted by Rudy Giuliani May 29 when he said, ⤔No one that I know of had any idea (the towers) would implode⤠(Drudge Report, WNBC). Fires started by aviation fuel, which is a form of kerosene, could never have achieved explosive force that finally collapsed the towers in a matter of seconds.
“Dr. Steven Jones, internationally known physicist, formerly of Brigham Young University, has founded The Journal of 9/11 Studies, which already contains more than 50 articles by physicists, chemists, engineers and other scientists demonstrating by scientific analysis of actual broken sections from the towers⤠steel columns that only pre-placed thermate, which is a combination of iron, aluminum and sulfur, could have cut through the massive columns so precipitously.”
P. O. BOX 663

Timeline of the Progress Toward a North American Union

Canadian, U.S., and Mexican elites, including CEOS and politicians, have a plan to create common North American policies and
further integrate our economies. This plan goes by various names and euphemisms, such as “deep integration”, “NAFTA-plus”,
“harmonization”, the “Big Idea”, the “Grand Bargain”, and the “North American Security and Prosperity Initiative”. Regardless
of which name your prefer, the end goal of all of these plans is to create a new political and economic entity that would supercede
the existing countries. Advocates refer to it as a “North American Community”, but it is also known as the North American Union
(NAU). Theoretically, it would be similar to and competetive with the European Union (EU). The individual currencies of each
country would be replaced by a common currency called the “Amero” and everything from environmental regulations to security
would be brought in line with a common standard.

Vive le offers the following timeline as a resource to educate the general public about the progress of the three countries
toward a new North American Union (NAU).

Vive le opposes the creation of the North American Union (NAU) because we believe it will mean the loss of Canadian
sovereignty and democracy and hand over more power to giant, unelected corporations. We also believe that unlike the EU, the
countries joining the NAU are not roughly equal in size and power and that this means the U.S. will most certainly be setting policy
for all three countries. Considering the unpopularity of the Bush administration and its policies in the U.S., Canada, and around the
world we believe that erasing the borders between our countries and adopting U.S. policies at this time is a bad idea and will create
economic, political and military insecurity in this country. We hope that raising awareness about the plan to create a North American
Union (NAU) will create opposition and encourage debate in all three countries, but especially in Canada.

Note: This timeline is a work in progress and will be updated as events progress. If you notice a correction that needs to be made or
an event that should be included, please email Please allow time for updates to be made as they
will be made less frequently than updates to the main page of the site.


  • 1921: The Council on Foreign Relations is founded by Edward Mandell House, who had been the chief advisor of President
    Woodrow Wilson.
  • 1973: David Rockefeller asks Zbigniew Brzezinski and a few others, including from the Brookings Institution, Council on
    Foreign Relations and the Ford Foundation, to put together an organization of the top political, and business leaders from
    around the world. He calls this group the Trilateral Commission (TC). The first meeting of the group is held in Tokyo in
    October. See: Trilateral Commission FAQ
  • 1974: Richard Gardner, one of the members of the Trilateral Commission, publishes an article titled “The Hard Road to
    World Order” which appeared in Foreign Affairs magazine, published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). In the
    article he wrote: “In short, the ‘house of world order’ would have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down.
    It will look like a great ‘booming, buzzing confusion,’ to use William James’ famous description of reality, but an end run
    around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.”
    Gardner advocated treaties and trade agreements as a means of creating a new economic world order. See: The Hard Road 
    to World Order
  • November 13, 1979: While officially declaring his candidacy for U.S. President, Ronald Reagan proposes a “North American
    Agreement” which will produce “a North American continent in which the goods and people of the three countries will cross
    boundaries more freely.”
  • January 1981: U.S. President Ronald Reagan proposes a North American common market.
  • September 4, 1984: Conservative Brian Mulroney is elected Prime Minister of Canada after opposing free trade during the
  • September 25, 1984: Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney meets President Reagan in Washington and promises closer
    relations with the US.
  • October 9, 1984: The US Congress adopts the Trade and Tariff Act, an omnibus trade act that notably extends the powers of
    the president to concede trade benefits and enter into bilateral free trade agreements. The Act would be passed on October
    30, 1984.
  • 1985: A Canadian Royal Commission on the economy chaired by former Liberal Minister of Finance Donald S. Macdonald
    issues a report to the Government of Canada recommending free trade with the United States.
  • St. Patrick’s Day, 1985: Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and President Ronald Reagan sing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”
    together to cap off the “Shamrock Summit”, a 24-hour meeting in Quebec City that opened the door to future free trade talks
    between the countries. Commentator Eric Kierans observed that “The general impression you get, is that our prime minister
    invited his boss home for dinner.” Canadian historian Jack Granatstein said that this “public display of sucking up to Reagan
    may have been the single most demeaning moment in the entire political history of Canada’s relations with the United States.”
  • September 26, 1985: Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney announces that Canada will try to reach a free trade
    agreement with the US.
  • December 10, 1985: U.S. President Reagan officially informs Congress about his intention to negotiate a free trade
    agreement with Canada under the authority of trade promotion. Referred to as fast track, trade promotion authority is an
    accelerated legislative procedure which obliges the House of Representatives and the Senate to decide within 90 days
    whether or not to establish a trade trade unit. No amendments are permitted.
  • May 1986: Canadian and American negotiators begin to work out a free trade deal. The Canadian team is led by former
    deputy Minister of Finance Simon Reisman and the American side by Peter O. Murphy, the former deputy United States
    trade representative in Geneva.
  • October 3, 1987: The 20-chapter Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA or FTA) is finalized. U.S. trade
    representative Clayton Yeutter offers this observation: “We’ve signed a stunning new trade pact with Canada. The
    Canadians don’t understand what they’ve signed. In twenty years, they will be sucked into the U.S. economy.”
  • November 6, 1987: Signing of a framework agreement between the US and Mexico.
  • January 2, 1988: Prime Minister Mulroney and President Reagan officially sign the FTA.
  • January 1, 1989: The Canada US Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA or FTA) goes into effect.
  • June 10, 1990: Presidents Bush (U.S.) and Salinas (Mexico) announce that they will begin discussions aimed at liberalizing
    trade between their countries.
  • August 21, 1990: Mexican President Salinas officially proposes to the US president the negotiation of a free trade agreement
    between Mexico and the US.
  • February 5, 1991: Negotiations between the US and Mexico aimed at liberalizing trade between the two countries officially
    become trilateral at the request of the Canadian government under Brian Mulroney.
  • April 7 to 10, 1991: Cooperation agreements are signed between Mexico and Canada covering taxation, cultural production
    and exports.
  • May 24, 1991: The American Senate endorses the extension of fast track authority in order to facilitate the negotiation of
    free trade with Mexico.
  • June 12, 1991: Start of trade negotiations between Canada, the US and Mexico.
  • April 4, 1992 Signing in Mexico by Canada and Mexico of a protocol agreement on cooperation projects regarding labour.
  • August 12, 1992: Signing of an agreement in principle on NAFTA.
  • September 17, 1992: Creation of a trilateral commission responsible for examining cooperation in the area of the environment.
  • October 7, 1992: Official signing of NAFTA by Michael Wilson of Canada (minister), American ambassador Carla Hills and
    Mexican secretary Jaime Serra Puche, in San Antonio (Texas).
  • December 17, 1992: Official signing of NAFTA by Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, US president George Bush,
    and Mexican president Carlos Salinas de Gortari, subject to its final approval by the federal Parliaments of the three countries.
  • March 17 and 18, 1993: Start of tripartite discussions in Washington aimed at reaching subsidiary agreements covering labor
    and the environment.
  • September 14, 1993: Official signing of parallel agreements covering labor and the environment in the capitals of the three
  • 1993: The Liberal Party under Jean Chretien promises to renegotiate NAFTA in its campaign platform, titled “Creating
    Opportunity: the Liberal Plan for Canada” and also known as The Red Book.
  • December 1993: Newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien signs NAFTA without changes, breaking his promise
    to renegotiate NAFTA. U.S. President Bill Clinton signs NAFTA for the U.S.
  • November 1993: The North American Development Bank (NADB) and its sister institution, the Border Environment
    Cooperation Commission (BECC), are created under the auspices of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
    to address environmental issues in the U.S.-Mexico border region. The two institutions initiate operations under the November
    1993 Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Mexican States
    Concerning the Establishment of a Border Environment Cooperation Commission and a North American Development Bank
    (the “Charter”). See: About Us (The North American Development Bank)
  • January 1, 1994: NAFTA and the two agreements on labour and the environment go into effect, replacing CUSFTA.
  • November 16, 1994: Canada and Mexico sign a cooperation agreement regarding the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
  • December 1994: The Summit of the Americas is held in Miami. The three signatories of NAFTA officially invite Chile to
    become a contractual party of the agreement. The Free Trade Area of the Americas or FTAA is initiated. According to the
    official FTAA website, “the Heads of State and Government of the 34 democracies in the region agreed to construct a Free
    Trade Area of the Americas, or FTAA, in which barriers to trade and investment will be progressively eliminated. They
    agreed to complete negotiations towards this agreement by the year 2005 and to achieve substantial progress toward building
    the FTAA by 2000.” See: FTAA
  • December 22, 1994: Mexican monetary authorities decide to let the Peso float. The US and Canada open a US$6 billion line of
    credit for Mexico.
  • January 3, 1995: Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo presents an emergency plan.
  • January 1995: President Clinton announces an aid plan for Mexico.
  • February 9, 1995: Mickey Kantor, the US Foreign Trade representative, announces Washington’s intention to include the
    provisions of NAFTA regarding labor and the environment in negotiations with Chile.
  • February 21, 1995: Signing in Washington of an agreement regarding the financial assistance given to Mexico. Mexico in turn
    promises to pay Mexican oil export revenue as a guarantee into an account at the Federal Reserve in New York.
  • February 28, 1995: Mexico announces the increase of its customs duties on a number of imports from countries with which it
    does not have a free trade agreement.
  • March 9, 1995: President Zedillo presents austerity measures. The plan envisages a 50% increase in value added taxes, a
    10% reduction of government expenditure, a 35% increase in gas prices, a 20% increase in electricity prices and a 100%
    increase in transportation prices. The minimum wage is increased by 10%. The private sector can benefit from government
    assistance. The inter-bank rate that is reduced to 74% will be increased to 109% on March 15.
  • March 29, 1995: Statistical data on US foreign trade confirms the sharp increase in Mexican exports to the US.
  • April 10, 1995: The US dollar reaches its lowest level in history on the international market. It depreciated by 50% relative
    to the Japanese yen in only four years.
  • June 7, 1995: First meeting of the ministers of Foreign Trade of Canada (Roy MacLaren), the US (Mickey Kantor), Mexico
    (Herminio Blanco) and Chile (Eduardo Aninat) to start negotiations.
  • December 29, 1995: Chile and Canada commit to negotiate a bilateral free trade agreement.
  • June 3, 1996: Chile and Canada start negotiating the reciprocal opening of markets in Santiago.
  • November 18, 1996: Signing in Ottawa of the Canada-Chile free trade agreement by Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister of Canada
    and Eduardo Frei, President of Chile. The agreement frees 80% of trade between the two countries. It is the first free trade
    agreement signed between Chile and a member of the G 7.
  • July 4, 1997: The Canada-Chile free trade agreement comes into effect.
  • 1997: The US presidency proposes applying NAFTA parity to Caribbean countries.
  • April 17, 1998: Signing in Santiago, Chile of the free trade agreement between Chile and Mexico by President Ernesto Zedillo
    Ponce de León of Mexico, and President Eduardo Frei of Chile.
  • August 1, 1999: The Chile-Mexico free trade agreement comes into effect.
  • September, 1999: The Canadian right-wing think tank the Fraser Institute publishes a paper by Herbert G. Grubel titled
    “The Case for the Amero: The Economics and Politics of a North American Monetary Union.” In the paper Grubel argues
    that a common currency is not inevitable but it is desirable. See: The Case for the Amero
  • July 2, 2000: Vicente Fox Quesada of the National Action Party (PAN), is elected president of Mexico, thus ending the reign
    of the Revolutionary Institutional Party (RIP) that had held power for 71 years. Mr. Fox is sworn in on 1 December 2000.
  • July 4, 2000: Mexican president Vicente Fox proposes a 20 to 30 year timeline for the creation of a common North American
    market. President Fox’s “20/20 vision” as it is commonly called, includes the following: a customs union, a common external
    tariff, greater coordination of policies, common monetary policies, free flow of labor, and fiscal transfers for the development
    of poor Mexican regions. With the model of the European Fund in mind, President Fox suggests that US$10 to 30 billion be
    invested in NAFTA to support underdeveloped regions. The fund could be administered by an international financial
    institution such as the Inter-American Development Bank.
  • November 27, 2000: Trade negotiations resume between the US and Chile for Chile’s possible entry into NAFTA.
  • 2001: Robert Pastor’s 2001 book “Toward a North American Community” is published. The book calls for the creation of a
    North American Union (NAU).
  • April 2001: Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien and US President George W. Bush sign the Declaration of Quebec City
    at the third Summit of the Americas: “This is a ‘commitment to hemispheric integration.” See: Declaration of Quebec City
  • August 30, 2001: The Institute for International Economics issues a press release advocating that the United States and
    Mexico should use the occasion of the visit of President Vicente Fox of Mexico on September 4-7 to develop a North
    American Community as advocated by Robert Pastor in his book “Toward a North American Community.”
    See: A Blueprint for a North American Community
  • September 11, 2001: A series of coordinated suicide terrorist attacks upon the United States, predominantly targeting civilians,
    are carried out on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Two planes (United Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11) crash
    into the World Trade Center in New York City, one plane into each tower (One and Two). Both towers collapse within two hours.
    The pilot of the third team crashes a plane into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. Passengers and members of the flight
    crew on the fourth aircraft attempts to retake control of their plane from the hijackers; that plane crashes into a field near the
    town of Shanksville in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Excluding the 19 hijackers, a confirmed 2,973 people die and
    another 24 remain listed as missing as a result of these attacks. U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico shut down temporarily
    after terrorists attack the World Trade Centre in New York City. Business leaders in all three countries, worried that trade
    had come to a halt, hatch a plan to create Fortress North America — a continental economic and security zone.
  • December 2001: New U.S. Ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci publicly advocates “NAFTA-plus”.
    See: The Emergence of a North American Community?
  • December 12, 2001: U.S. Governor Tom Ridge and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister John Manley sign the Smart Border
    Declaration and Associated 30-Point Action Plan to Enhance the Security of Our Shared Border While Facilitating the
    Legitimate Flow of People and Goods. The Action Plan has four pillars: the secure flow of people, the secure flow of goods,
    secure infrastructure, and information. It includes shared customs data, a safe third-country agreement, harmonized
    commercial processing, etc.
  • February 7, 2002: Robert Pastor gives invited testimony before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International
    Trade, House of Commons, Government of Canada, Ottawa. See: INVITED TESTIMONY OF DR. ROBERT A. PASTOR
  • April 2002: The Canadian right-wing think tank the C.D. Howe Institute publishes the first paper in the “Border Papers” series,
    which they have described as “a project on Canada’s choices regarding North American integration.” The Border Papers were
    published with the financial backing of the Donner Canadian Foundation. Generally the border papers advocate deep integration
    between Canada and the U.S., and the first border paper “Shaping the Future of the North American Economic Space: A
    Framework for Action” by Wendy Dobson popularized the term “the Big Idea” as one euphemism for deep integration. To
    read the border papers, you can visit the C.D. Howe Institute website at Use the publication search form
    (1996 to current, PDF) and choose “border papers” from the “Serie contains” drop down menu.
  • June 28, 2002: John Manley and Tom Ridge announce progress on the Smart Border Declaration, including “stepped up
    intelligence cooperation with Canada,” “common standards for using biometric identifiers, such as fingerprints, facial
    recognition, and iris scanning, to confirm the identify of travelers,” and “a common approach to screen international air
    passengers before they arrive in either country and identify those who warrant additional security scrutiny.”
  • September 9, 2002: President Bush and Prime Minister Chrétien meet to discuss progress on the Smart Border Action Plan
    and ask that they be updated regularly on the work being done to harmonize our common border.
  • December 5, 2002: The text of the Safe Third Country Agreement is signed by officials of Canada and the United States as
    part of the Smart Border Action Plan. See the final text here: Final Text of the Safe Third Country Agreement Refugee
    support groups on both sides of the Canadian-U.S. border criticize the new agreement dealing with refugees for stipulating
    that refugees must seek asylum in whichever of the two countries they reach first. Critics say that preventing individuals who
    first set foot in the U.S. from making a claim in Canada will increase cases of human smuggling, and that other refugees will
    be forced to live without any kind of legal status in the U.S. See for example:
    10 Reasons Why Safe Third Country is a Bad Deal
  • September 11, 2002: The National Post publishes an article by Alan Gotlieb, the chairman of the Donner Canadian
    Foundation and Canada’s ambassador to the United States from 1981 to 1989, titled “Why not a grand bargain with the
    U.S.?” In the article, Gotlieb asks “Rather than eschewing further integration with the United States, shouldn’t we be
    building on NAFTA to create new rules, new tribunals, new institutions to secure our trade? Wouldn’t this ‘legal integration’
    be superior to ad hoc responses and largely ineffective lobbying to prevent harm from Congressional protectionist sorties?
    Wouldn’t our economic security be enhanced by establishing a single North American competitive market without anti-
    dumping and countervail rules? Are there not elements of a grand bargain to be struck, combining North American economic,
    defence and security arrangements within a common perimeter?” See: Why not a grand bargain with the U.S.?
  • September 26, 2002: Canadian citizen Maher Arar is detained in New York while passing through John F. Kennedy Airport
    and held for 12 days by U.S. officials then deported to Syria where he is tortured and imprisoned for a year. In 2006, a
    Canadian government commission into the affair blames the unfiltered sharing of faulty information between Canadian and
    U.S. security agencies, which is specifically mandated in the Smart Border Declaration.
  • November 1-2, 2002: Robert Pastor presents “A North American Community. A Modest Proposal To the Trilateral Commission,”
    to the North American Regional Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Pastor called for implementation of “a series of political
    proposals which would have authority over the sovereignty of the United States, Canada and Mexico. … the creation of North
    American passports and a North American Customs and Immigrations, which would have authority over U.S. Immigration and
    Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security. A North American Parliamentary Group would
    oversee the U.S. Congress. A Permanent Court on Trade and Investment would resolve disputes within NAFTA, exerting final
    authority over the judgments of the U.S. Supreme Court. A North American Commission would ‘develop an integrated continental
    plan for transportation and infrastructure.'” See: A North American Community. A Modest Proposal To the Trilateral Commission
  • December 6, 2002: The White House issues an update on the progress of the Smart Border Action Plan. See: U.S. Canada Smart
     Border 30 Point Action Plan Update
  • December, 2002: US Secretary Colin Powell signs an agreement between the United States and Canada to establish a new bi-
    national planning group at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) headquarters in Colorado Springs.
    The new bi-national planning group is expected to release a report recommending how the militaries of U.S. and Canada can
    “work together more effectively to counter land-based and maritime threats.” See: U.S. and Canada Sign Bi-National 
    Agreement on Military Planning
  • January 2003: The Canadian Council of Chief Executives headed by Tom D’Aquino (also a member of the trinational Task
    Force on the Future of North America) launches the North American Security and Prosperity Initiative (NASPI) in January
    2003 in response to an alleged “need for a comprehensive North American strategy integrating economic and security issues”.
    NASPI has five main elements, which include: Reinventing borders, Maximizing regulatory efficiencies, Negotiation of a
    comprehensive resource security pact, Reinvigorating the North American defence alliance, and Creating a new institutional
    framework. See: North American Security and Prosperity Initiative (PDF).
  • April 3, 2003: The CCCE sets up an “Action Group on North American Security and Prosperity,” which is comprised of 30
    CEOs including former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s former chief of staff, Derek Burney. On April 7, this
    action group meets with Tom Ridge, John Manley, then U.S. ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci and prominent U.S. neocon
    Richard Perle in Washington, D.C. to discuss the Security and Prosperity Initiative.
  • October 21, 2003: Dr. Robert Pastor gives testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives, International Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs on “U.S. Policy toward the Western Hemisphere:Challenges and Opportunities”
    in which he recommends the formation of a “North American Community.”
  • January 2004: NAFTA celebrates its tenth anniversary with controversy, as it is both praised and criticized.
  • January/February 2004: The Council on Foreign Relations publishes Robert Pastor’s paper “North America’s Second Decade,”
    which advocates further North American integration. Read it at: North America’s Second Decade
  • April 16, 2004: The CCCE holds its Spring Members meeting in Washington, D.C., bringing close to 100 CEOs together to
    discuss North American integration with politicians including John Manley, Condoleeza Rice and Jim Peterson.
  • April 2004: The Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) publishes a major discussion paper titled “New Frontiers:
    Building a 21st Century Canada-United States Partnership in North America.” Some of the paper’s 15 recommendations
    expand on the NASPI framework in areas such as tariff harmonization, rules of origin, trade remedies, energy strategy, core
    defence priorities and the need to strengthen Canada-United States institutions, including the North American Aerospace
    Defence Command (NORAD). Other recommendations focus on the process for developing and executing a comprehensive
    strategy, including the need for greater coordination across government departments, between federal and provincial
    governments and between the public and private sectors. See: Building a 21st Century Canada-United States Partnership in
     North America
  • October 2004: The Canada-Mexico Partnership (CMP) is launched during the visit of President Vicente Fox to Ottawa.
    See: Canada-Mexico Partnership (CMP)
  • November 1, 2004: The Independent Task Force on the Future of North America is formed. The task force is a trilateral task
    force charged with developing a “roadmap” to promote North American security and advance the well-being of citizens of all
    three countries. The task force is chaired by former Liberal Deputy Prime Minister John Manley. It is sponsored by the
    Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in association with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and the Consejo
    Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales.
  • December 29, 2004: The Safe Third Country Agreement comes into force. See: Safe Third Country Agreement Comes Into 
    Force Today
  • March 14, 2005: The Independent Task Force on the Future of North America releases “Creating a North American Community – Chairmen’s Statement.” Three former high-ranking government officials from Canada, Mexico, and the United States call for a
    North American economic and security community by 2010 to address shared security threats, challenges to competitiveness,
    and interest in broad-based development across the three countries. Among its key recommendations are the establishment of
    a continental security perimeter, a common external tariff, a common border pass for all North Americans, a North American
    energy and natural resources strategy, and an annual meeting where North American leaders can discuss steps towards economic
    and security integration. See: Creating a North American Community Chairmen’s Statement
  • March 14, 2005: Robert Pastor, author of “Toward a North American Community” and member of the task force on the future of
    North America, publishes an article titled “The Paramount Challenge for North America: Closing the Development Gap,”
    sponsored by the North American Development Bank, which recommends forming a North American Community as a way to
    address economic inequalities due to NAFTA between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. See: THE PARAMOUNT CHALLENGE 
  • March 23, 2005: The leaders of Canada, the United States and Mexico sign the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of
    North America at the trilateral summit in Waco, Texas. Canada is signed on by Prime Minister Paul Martin. See:
  • March 24, 2005: The 40 Point Smart Regulation Plan is launched as part of the SPP agreement. It is a far-reaching plan to
    introduce huge changes to Canada’s regulatory system in order to eliminate some regulations and harmonize other regulations
    with the U.S. Reg Alcock, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, launches
    the Government of Canada’s implementation plan for Smart Regulation at a Newsmaker Breakfast at the National Press Club.
    For the original plan and updates see: Smart Regulation: Report on Actions and Plans
  • March 2005: Agreement to build the Texas NAFTA Superhighway: “A ‘Comprehensive Development Agreement’ [is] 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.” Texas Segment of NAFTA Super Highway Nears Construction,
    Jerome R. Corsi, June 2006, The proposed NAFTA superhighway will be a 10 lane super
    highway four football fields wide that will travel through the heart of the U.S. along Interstate 35, from the Mexican border
    at Laredo, Tex., to the Canadian border north of Duluth. Minn. The “Trans-Texas Corridor” or TTC will be the first leg of
    the NAFTA superhighway.
  • April 2005: U.S. Senate Bill 853 is introduced by Senator Richard G. Lugar (IN) and six cosponsors. “The North American
    Security Cooperative Act (NASCA) is touted as a bill to protect the American public from terrorists by creating the North
    American Union. The North American Union consists of three countries, U.S., Canada, and Mexico, with open borders,
    something that is proposed to be in effect by 2010. Thus, it would ensure the fulfillment of the Security and Prosperity
    Partnership of North America.” NASCA Rips America, April 2005,
  • May 2005: The Council on Foreign Relations Press publishes the report of the Independent Task Force on the Future of
    North America, titled “Building a North American Community” (task force report 53).
    See: Building a North American Community
  • June 2005: A follow-up SPP meeting is held in Ottawa, Canada.
  • June 2005: A U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee policy paper is released: “The CFR did not mention the Central
    America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), but it is obvious that it is part of the scheme. This was made clear by the Senate
    Republican Policy Committee policy paper released in June 2005. It argued that Congress should pass CAFTA … The Senate
    Republican policy paper argued that CAFTA ‘will promote democratic governance.’But there is nothing democratic about
    CAFTA’s many pages of grants of vague authority to foreign tribunals on which foreign judges can force us to change our
    domestic laws to be ‘no more burdensome than necessary’on foreign trade.” CFR’s Plan to Integrate the U.S., Mexico and
    Canada, July 2005,
  • June 9, 2005: CNN’s Lou Dobbs, reporting on Dr. Robert Pastor’s congressional testimony as one of the six co-chairmen of
    the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Independent Task Force on North America, began his evening broadcast with this
    announcement: “Good evening, everybody. Tonight, an astonishing proposal to expand our borders to incorporate Mexico
    and Canada and simultaneously further diminish U.S. sovereignty. Have our political elites gone mad?”
  • June 27, 2005: NDP critic for International Trade and Globalization, Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster) says “The
    Liberal minority government is fast tracking Canada into an agenda of deep integration with the US and Mexico without a
    mandate from Canadians or consultation with Parliament”. See NDP Demands Transparency In Can/US/Mexico Talks
  • July 2005: The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) passes in the U.S. House of Representatives by a
    217-215 vote.
  • October 2005: The inaugural meeting of the North American Forum, which brings together U.S., Canadian and Mexican
    government and business representatives to discuss issues related to continental economic and social integration, is held at
    a secret location in Sonoma, California. Invitees to the event, which is chaired jointly by former U.S. secretary of state George
    Shultz, former Mexican finance minister Pedro Aspe, and former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed, include John Manley,
    Mexican ambassador to the U.S. Carlos de Icaza, Chevron CEO David O’Reilly, former head of the CIA James Woolsey,
    and a host of U.S. policy advisors to George W. Bush.
  • November 2005: Canadian Action Party leader Connie Fogal publishes an article called “Summary and
    Part 1:The Metamorphosis and Sabotage of Canada by Our Own Government- The North American Union.”
    See Summary and Part 1:The Metamorphosis and Sabotage of Canada by Our Own Government The North American Union
  • January 2006: Conservative Stephen Harper is elected Prime Minister of Canada with a minority government.
  • January 10-11, 2006: Government officials and corporate leaders from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico meet in Louisville,
    Kentucky for a “Public-Private Dialogue” around the SPP. Discussion hits on “marrying policy issues with business priorities,”
    expanding the SPP “beyond those identified in the initial stages of the process,” and building a “genuine constituency for North
    American integration.” A North American council on competitiveness, comprised entirely of corporate leaders, is discussed.
  • March 31, 2006: At the Summit of the Americas in Cancun, Canada (under new Prime Minister Stephen Harper) along with the
    U.S. and Mexico release the Leaders’ Joint Statement. The statement presents six action points to move toward a North
    American Union, aka a North American Community. These action points include: 1) Establishment of a Trilateral Regulatory
    Cooperative Framework 2) Establishment of the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC) 3) Provision for North
    American Emergency Management 4) Provision for Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza Management 5) Development
    of North American Energy Security 6) Assure Smart, Secure North American Borders. Read the full statement at:
    Leaders’ Joint Statement
  • April 2006: A draft environmental impact statement on the proposed first leg of the “NAFTA superhighway”, the “Trans-
    Texas Corridor” or TTC, is completed.
  • June 2006: Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado. demands superstate accounting from the Bush administration: “Responding to a report, Tom Tancredo is demanding the Bush administration fully disclose the activities of an office
    implementing a trilateral agreement with Mexico and Canada that apparently could lead to a North American union, despite
    having no authorization from Congress.” Tancredo Confronts ‘Super-State’ Effort, June 2006,
  • June 15, 2006: U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez convenes the first meeting of the North American Competitiveness
    Council (NACC), the advisory group organized by the Department of Commerce (DOC) under the auspices of the Security and
    Prosperity Partnership (SPP) and announced by the leaders of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico on March 31, 2006.
  • July 2006: Public hearings on the proposed “NAFTA superhighway” begin in the U.S.
  • July 25, 2006: The article “Meet Robert Pastor, Father of the North American Union” is published.
    See: Meet Robert Pastor: Father of the North American Union
  • August 15, 2006: The NACC meets in Washington, D.C. to hash out priority issues for the SPP. The business leaders decide
    that the U.S. secretariat of the NACC will deal with “regulatory convergence,” the Canadian secretariat, housed by the CCCE,
    will deal with “border facilitation,” and the Mexican secretariat will handle “energy integration.” There is no media coverage
    of this event.
  • August 21, 2006: An article titled North American Union Threatens U.S. Sovereignty” is posted to
  • August 27, 2006: Patrick Wood (U.S.) publishes an article titled “Toward a North American Union” for The August Review.
    See: Toward a North American Union
  • August 28, 2006: A North American United Nations? by Republican Congressman Ron Paul (Texas) is published.
    See: A North American United Nations?
  • August 29, 2006: Patrick Buchanan (U.S.) criticizes a North American union in his article “The NAFTA super highway.”
    See: The NAFTA super highway
  • September 12-14, 2006: A secret “North American Forum” on integration is held at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Elite
    participants from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are present to discuss “demographic and social dimensions of North Americ
    an integration,” security cooperation and a “North American energy strategy.” It is ignored by the mainstream media.
    See the Vive le article for the secret agenda and participant list:
    Deep Integration Planned at Secret Conference Ignored by the Media
  • September 13, 2006: Maclean’s magazine finally covers the August 15 NACC meeting in an article by Luiza Savage titled
    “Meet NAFTA 2.0.” The Maclean’s article on integration notes that according to Ron Covais, the president of the Americas
    for defence giant Lockheed Martin, a former Pentagon adviser to Dick Cheney, and one of the architects of North American
    integration, the political will to make deep integration of the continent happen will last only for “less than two years”.
    According to the article, to make sure that the establishment of a North American Union will take place in that time,
    “The executives have boiled their priorities down to three: the Canadian CEOs are focusing on ‘border crossing facilitation,’
    the Americans have taken on ‘regulatory convergence,’ and the Mexicans are looking at ‘energy integration’ in everything
    from electrical grids to the locating of liquid natural gas terminals. They plan to present recommendations to the ministers in
    October. This is how the future of North America now promises to be written: not in a sweeping trade agreement on which
    elections will turn, but by the accretion of hundreds of incremental changes implemented by executive agencies, bureaucracies
    and regulators. ‘We’ve decided not to recommend any things that would require legislative changes,’ says Covais. ‘Because
    we won’t get anywhere.’ ” See: Meet NAFTA 2.0
  • September 28, 2006: Stockwell Day says there was “nothing secret” about the forum on integration held in Banff.
    See: Nothing secret about Banff forum, says Stockwell Day
  • February 23, 2007: SPP Ministerial meeting is held in Ottawa, Canada, and attended by Canadian Ministry of Industry
    Maxime Bernier, Mexican Secretary of the Economy Eduardo Sojo, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Canadian
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter MacKay, Mexican Secretary of External Affairs Patricia Espinosa Castellano,
    U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, Canadian Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day, and Mexican
    Secretary of the Interior Francisco Javier Ramirez Acuna. Officials also consult with corporate CEOs, members of the
    North American Competitiveness Council (NACC). The Council’s 10 Canadian members were appointed last summer by
    Prime Minister Harper and given privileged access to government Ministers to push their corporate vision for continental
    “integration”. In a statement, the ministers responsible for the SPP noted that they “recognize the importance of focusing
    on initiatives that will further competitiveness and quality of life in North America, and will continue to work together to
    successfully meet the security and prosperity challenges of the 21st century.” The agenda of the meeting is challenged by
    an alliance of citizen’s groups in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. See: Tri-national ministerial meeting to star Rice and
    Chertoff, Trade, Competitiveness, and Security Issues at the Forefront of North American Ministerial Meeting and
    United States Strengthens Ties with Canada, Mexico: Neighbors coming together through Security and Prosperity 
    Partnership, By David McKeeby
  • March 31-April 1, 2007: The Council of Canadians, the Canadian Labour Congress and other progressive organizations hold
    a teach-in in ottawa called Integrate This! Challenging the Security and Prosperity Partnership. See Integrate This!
  • April 26-27, 2007: A closed-door roundtable meeting on the Future of North American Environment 2025 is held in Calgary on
    April 26 and 27 2007. This is the final concluding roundtable initiated by three think tanks to address issues around where the
    Security and Prosperity Partnership is going. The report is to be sent to the three national governments, both for feedback and
    comments, at the end of June 2007. NDP MP Peter Julian crashes the meeting, and due to his presence there the Harper
    government pulls its delegation. Organisers tell Julian that the federal government delegation was basically stopped at the
    Airport from attending the final roundtable meetings on the subject.
  • April-May 2007: Thanks to the efforts of NDP International Trade Critic Peter Julian (Burnaby – New Westminster), the
    Standing Committee on International Trade holds the first ever hearings on the so-called “Security and Prosperity Partnership”
    (SPP) of North America. The televised hearings are held on April 26, May 1st and 3rd, 2007 in Ottawa. To read the transcripts
    of the hearings, see Info on SPP Hearings from NDP MP Peter Julian and Update on Hearings at Trade Committee re SPP 
    from NDP MP Peter Julian Contributed by: sthompson
  • Thursday, May 10, 2007: Amid heated charges of a coverup, Tory MPs abruptly shut down parliamentary hearings on the
    SPP, a controversial plan to further integrate Canada and the U.S. They shut the hearings down in reaction to the testimony
    of University of Alberta professor and director of the Parkland Institute Gordon Laxer, who testifies that Canadians will be left
    “to freeze in the dark” if the government forges ahead with plans to integrate energy supplies across North America. In
    response, the chair of the committee, Conservative MP Leon Benoit (Vegreville-Wainwright), rules his testimony out of order
    for being “irrelevant” to the hearings. When opposition MPs on the committee vote down his ruling, Benoit blurts out that he
    is adjourning the meeting, and proceeds to storm out with two other Conservative MPs. [Some of this information was
    paraphrased from the article in the Ottawa Citizen. For full article see “Tory chair storms out of SPP hearing”, Friday
    May 11, the Ottawa Citizen, Tory chair storms out of SPP hearing.] Later, Gordon Laxer’s presentation to the trade
    committee on SPP is officially voted in as evidence by the committee. The full testimony is printed in both the Calgary
    Herald and the Edmonton Journal on May 16, 2007. You can read it on Vive at: Latest News from Parkland Institute: 
    Laxer Creates Stir on the Hill; or see the Edmonton Journal article, Canada-first energy strategy needed.
  • UPCOMING June 26-29, or possibly August 2007: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, George W. Bush, and
    Mexican President Felipe Calderon will meet for the planned third summit of the Security and Prosperity Partnership.
    We’ll update details on this as we get them.

Sources aside from articles provided within the timeline:
Vive le, FAQ, Sovereignty vs Deep Integration
North American Forum on Integration, NAFTA Timeline
North American Union/Testimony, Publications and Reports, Sourcewatch, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy,
North American Union/Testimony, Publications and Reports
Free Market News Network Corp, N. AM. UNION TIMELINE
SPP Timeline, SPP: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You!
Wikipedia, various entries,

Also, wherever possible links to the full text of various agreements have been provided.

We also recommend the Council of Canadians’ deep integration timeline: DI timeline (PDF)
Last Updated Wednesday, May 16 2007 @ 02:52 PM MDT

North American Union

by Kerby Anderson


            If you haven’t heard much about the North American Union and the building of the NAFTA Superhighway, you will soon. These issues are going to be given a great deal more prominence in the news in the next few weeks. For example, there will be a press conference next week at the National Press Club. Attending will be such people as Howard Phillips, Jerome Corsi, Phyllis Schlafly, as well as members of the House of Representatives who have introduced a resolution (H. CON. RES. 487) calling for an investigation into the North American Union and the NAFTA Superhighway System. The sponsors of the bill are Virgil Goode, Jr. (R-VA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Tom Tancredo (R-CO), and Ron Paul (R-TX).


            It all started with a meeting in Waco, TX on March 23, 2005 with President George Bush, Mexican President Vincente Fox, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. At the end of the meeting they announced the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. Some people in the press reported it, but no one thought much of it until people began to read the details of the agreement.


Essentially, the Security and Prosperity Partnership (or SPP as most people call it) created a new administrative infrastructure that could transfer these three countries into a North American Union similar to the European Union. And this was done without a treaty and without a vote in Congress.


The Department of Commerce has developed a website: If you go to that website and read some of the material, you will find that the SPP has created “20 different working groups spanning a wide variety of issues ranging from e-commerce, to aviation policy, to borders and immigration.”[1] They have produced a number of memorandums of understanding as well as trilateral declarations of agreement. These new trilateral agreements essentially rewrite our administrative law so that it can be harmonized and integrated with these two other countries. And these working groups report to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez.


This plan was spelled out in detail in a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) 59-page document called “Building a North American Community.” It describes a five-year plan for the “establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community” with a common “outer security perimeter.”[2] The entire task force report of 175-pages is available at from the Council on Foreign Relations.[3]


What does this mean to the United States? Here are two examples that Jerome Corsi uses to explain what this would mean to our country. The first is the issue of open skies. The Department of Transportation has agreed to give our GPS system and our wide area navigation system to Canada and Mexico. That means that Mexican and Canadian air traffic controllers will be able to direct airplanes into our air space and land them in our airports as if they are landing them in their own countries. Now in order to do that safely, they also need to know how to identify U.S. military aircraft. So you can see, we will be giving away quite a bit of technology and information.


The second example is the idea known as “trusted trader—trusted traveler.” The SPP working groups I just mentioned have announced that they will give biometric cards to all Americans, Mexicans, and Canadians to identify them as trusted North American travelers. Remember the goal here is to erase the borders between Mexico, Canada, and the United States. The North American Union will supposedly protect the perimeter of North America but will essentially remove the borders between these three countries. If you think about this, it will change the nature of the immigration debate. Mexicans who have these biometric cards and come to the United States by definition won’t be illegal immigrants.


These working groups provide for the designation of a trusted trader. There is talk about putting a Sentri electronic devices in their trucks so that it would only take a few seconds to cross the US-Mexican border in Laredo, Texas. In a sense, it would be like using an EasyPass on one of our toll roads in America.


That brings us to the other issue: the NAFTA superhighway. The Texas segment (known as the Trans-Texas Corridor) will begin construction next year. You can read about this at a Texas Department of Transportation website:


            In April 2006, TxDOT released a 4000-page Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that describes a corridor that will be 1200 feet wide (the size of four football fields). It will parallel Interstate 35, and be five lanes north and five lanes south (3 cars, 2 trucks). In the middle will be pipelines and rail lines. It will also have a 200-foot wide utility corridor.[4]


            The corridor will start in Laredo, Texas run past Austin to the Texas-Oklahoma border. However 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.


            The project will be financed by Cintra Concesiones de Infraestrusturas in Spain and a San Antonio construction company Zachary Construction Corp. Cintra is an investment consortium owned by the Juan Carlos family in Spain that will collect the tolls. That’s right the money for this project will go to Spain. Eventually, this NAFTA superhighway will ultimately connect through Kansas City into Canada.


            This NAFTA superhighway will connect with ports in Mexico (specifically Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas) for NAFTA trade. “The plan is to ship containers of cheap goods produced by under-market labor in China and the Far East into North America via Mexican ports. From the Mexican ports, Mexican truck drivers and railroad workers will transport the goods across the Mexican border with Texas. Once in the U.S., the routes will proceed north to Kansas City along the NAFTA Super-Highway, ready to be expanded by the Trans-Texas Corridor, and NAFTA railroad routes being put in place by Kansas City Southern.”[5]


            The advantage to retail companies like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Home Depot (to mention a few) is enormous. Currently the cost of shipping and ground transportation can nearly double the cost of cheap labor and slave labor from China and the Far East. China will be able to unload these huge cargo ships in these deep water ports in Mexico and bypass much of those costs. Mexican workers undercut the Longshoreman Union port employees on the docks of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Mexican truck drivers undercut the Teamsters. And U.S. truckers and railways will no longer be needed to move goods across the Rocky Mountains.[6]


            By the way, these Mexican ports will be controlled by the Chinese communists through a company known as Hutchison-Whampoa. This name should sound familiar. Hutchison Ports Holding owns Panama Ports Company which controls both ends of the Panama Canal.


The Chinese are also working to deepen and widen the Panama Canal so they can sail their enormous container ships to Florida and travel north through another corridor. Ultimately, the plan is to have seven of these corridors in the United States.


While I am talking about the Panama Canal, I might mention that the man who is considered the father of the North American Union is Robert Pastor. And if that name sounds familiar it should. He is the man who proposed that the United States give away the Panama Canal during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. He was the co-chair of the May 2005 CFR report, “Building a North American Community.”[7]


            So how will the North American Union be put in place? There is good evidence to show that this plan will implemented the same way it was done in Europe: incrementally. There will be various bureaucratic regulations to eventually transform the United States, Canada, and Mexico the way Europe was transformed into the European Union from the Common Market. In fact, Robert Pastor has proposed that we get rid of the U.S. dollar, the Canadian dollar, and the Mexico peso. Instead we will have what he calls the amero (just like Europeans have the euro).


            Just recently (September 12-14, 2006) there was a secret meeting in Banff , Alberta. Apparently its goal was to bring representatives from the three countries to advance the cause of the North American Union. You can read about these proceedings in a recent article that provides both the agenda and the attendee list.[8]


            Those who have been investigating this have also been filing Freedom of Information Act requests. Much of this information is posted on,  and additional materials will soon be posted They show memos of governmental officials discussing how our laws can be changed or how the laws of Canada or Mexico can be changed so that we would have North American laws.


            So what should we do? First, we need to educate ourselves and pass this information on to others who would also be concerned about the loss of American sovereignty. The success in defeating the Dubai Ports issue (as well as other initiatives) demonstrates that once the American people know what is going on, they call and write their legislators. Get a copy of this commentary from our website and distribute it. Go to the references and endnotes that I provide to get additional information.


            Second, find out where your elected representatives stand. Do they support a North American Union or do they support American sovereignty? It is better to find out before the elections.


Those in Texas should also ask the candidates for governor and other elected officials where they stand on the NAFTA superhighway. Eventually there will be 4,000 miles of highway. The state will use eminent domain to take this land. Under the Supreme Court Kelo decision, they can take that land even though the superhighway will be built for private benefit. Some have estimated that up to one million people in Texas may lose their land or their business under this eminent domain action. Where do these Texas candidates stand on this issue?


Third, express your support for the resolution (H. CON. RES. 487) introduced by Representatives Goode, Jones, Tancredo, and Paul. Its says that the United States should not enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada. And it says that the United States should not engage in the construction of a NAFTA Superhighway System.


[1] Jerome Corsi, “Bush Sneaking North American super-state without oversight?, WorldNetDaily, 13 June 2006,

[2] Howard Phillips, “Bush Commemorates Founding of SPPNA,” Howard Phillips Issues and Strategy Bulletin, 31 July 2006.

[3] Building a North American Community, May 2005,

[4] Jerome Corsi, “Texas Segment of NAFTA Super Highway Nears Construction,” Human Events, 21 June 2006,

[5] Jerome Corsi, “Red China Opens NAFTA Ports in Mexico,” Human Events, 18 July 2006,

[6] Ibid.

[7] Jerome Corsi, “Meet Robert Pastor: Father of the North American Union,” Human Events, 25 July 2006,

[8] Jerome Corsi, “North America confab ‘undermines democracy,’ WorldNetDaily, 21 September 2006,


Highway Robbery – NAFTA Super Hiway

Monday, June 11, 2007 6:46 PM
Recently on the show we aired talks given by Dan & Margaret Byfield at a recent California Eagle Forum Conference which I was privileged to MC. the information they shared out of their personal experience living close to the new Trans-Texas Corridor which is part of the NAFTA Super Highway, as well as out of their experience as land rights experts, is shocking if you’ve not yet heard about what’s going on.

Dan is the Producer of two television productions, “Who Owns the Land?” and “Standing Ground” which have been shown on national cable and PBS stations, and won awards. He is also the president of Liberty Matters, and his wife, Margaret, is Executive Director ofStewards of the Range. They share the unbelievable land rights abuses that are taking place with the NAFTA Super Highway.

I highly recommend you listen to the show online if you missed it on the air. Very few are talking about this, except Jim Corsi and Phyllis Schlafly….and our show.

Here are some links to check out as well.

Bush Administration Plans NAFTA Super Highway

Lou Dobbs – Video: NAFTA Super Highway

NAU to Replace USA?

The very Real NAFTA Super Highway

North America SuperCorridor Coalition Inc.

Kansas City SmartPort

Trans-Texas Corridor

Hear the show See 5/23/07)

Sharon Hughes is Founder and President of The Center for Changing Worldviews, a Radio Talk Show Host heard on KDIA AM1640 in San Francisco, NPLR and Her weekly column appears in many recognized news sites, most recently She writes analysis for, Media Research Institute’s super blog. See Sharon Hughes and WOMANTalk.


For more than 13 years NASCO and its members have stood at the forefront of driving public and private sectors to unite to address
strategically critical national and international trade, transportation, security and environmental issues.


Economists predict U.S. bound international containerized cargo will increase 350% by 2020. United States, Mexico, and Canadian
exports to one another and the world are at an all time high.

We are literally facing a trade tsunami and U.S., Mexico, and Canadian infrastructure is unable to handle the burden.


Pessimists view this as an impending crisis. NASCO views these challenges as a valuable opportunity for economic development,
job creation, and to improve the overall trade competitiveness of the United States, Mexico and Canada in the global marketplace.


NASCO’s purpose is to boost economic development activity by supporting:

  • Multi-modal (rail, truck, ships, air cargo) infrastructure improvements
  • Technology and security innovations on existing infrastructure to improve security and efficiency
  • Enhanced visibility, security, and accountability of supply chains critical to every day life
  • Environmental projects to preserve quality of life and allow for future growth
  • Strengthened security in cross-border trade flows


The critically important role transportation and trade play in our every day lives and in our nations’ economies is dramatically
undervalued and underappreciated. Critics are attempting to exploit this misunderstanding to disrupt federal, state, and local
projects aimed at propelling our communities and countries forward.  These critics attempt to falsely portray NASCO as anything
other than what it is: an effective and necessary advocate for efficient, secure and environmentally conscious trade and t

We have updated our website to clearly articulate the purpose and objectives that have defined, and always will define, our

Click here:

Who we are, what we stand for, and why the fervent devotion to transport efficiency


Wayne Madsen ReportNew Transportation Secretary Mary Peters to ensure Bush crime family super-highway projects proceed unimpeded.

Sept. 8/9/10, 2006 — George W. Bush’s pick for Transportation Secretary represents a major conflict-of-interest designed to spur the construction of the Trans-Texas Corridor — a project in which Bush and his cronies are heavily invested. Last week, Bush nominated Mary Peters to replace Norman Mineta as Secretary of Transportation. Unlike Mineta, a former congressman who then became a Vice President fo the aerospace defense giant Lockheed Martin, Peters comes out of the surface transportation industry. She is a vice president for the engineering firm HDR and co-vice chairman of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission. From 2001 to 2005, Peters was the head of the Federal Highway Administration. Peters is also a former head of the Arizona Department of Transportation. Peters worked in the administration of disgraced GOP Governor Fife Symington, who was convicted of bank fraud and resigned from office. (Symington was later pardoned by his college friend, President Bill Clinton).

Peters’ commitment to major “infrastructure development” of the nation’s highways centers on the development of the North American SuperCorridor (NASCO) highway, of which the Tran-Texas Corridor will be a major component. Already, Bush crime syndicate cronies, including interests tied to Texas Governor Rick Perry, are purchasing property along the proposed Texas highway route at cut-rate prices, using “eminent domain” statutes to pay less than what private and commercial property is worth. The money for the massive land grab is coming from Saudi and Chinese sources, according to knowledgeable sources in Texas. The NASCO highway will cross 11 states: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. It will also connect proposed Mexican super ports in Manzanillo, Mazatlan, and Lazaro Cardenas to various United States trucking and distribution super-hubs in San Antonio, Dallas, Kansas City, as well as one in Winnipeg in Canada. The Mexican ports will be receiving points for manufactured products from China. The theft of the Mexican presidency by conservative Felipe Calderon at the expense of populist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was engineered to protect the sizeable investments the Bush crime cartel, including The Carlyle Group, and their Saudi and Chinese financiers have already sunk into the project.

Eventually, NASCO will be expanded as far south as Argentina by linking North America to Central America (Mexico-Central American Corridor and an improved Pan American Highway). The expensive tolls charged throughout the 10-lane super-highway system will be used to line the pockets of the Bush family well into the middle of the 21st century. Peters, as a highway and trucking industry shill, has been entrusted by the Bush crime cartel to ensure that the plans for NASCO and the Pan American Super Corridor proceed unimpeded. It is estimated that as many as 1 million Texans alone, many in rural and poor urban areas, could be displaced by the Trans-Texas Corridor.



North American Union or NAU is indeed being very discreetly implemented under SPP and it remains to be seen on which side
of the 49th a more vocal opposition will emerge, however, now that construction of the NAFTA Super Highway -a 10-lane
monstrosity linking Monterrey to Winnipeg- has begun on the TCC or ‘Trans-Texas Corridor’, I suspect that American nationalists
will be the first to protest.
Here’s a map:

In Canada, NAU was originally supported by the Liberals (John Manley) and is now being fostered by the Conservatives (Stockwell
Day).  Recently, officials from all three countries (Mexico/Canada/US) met in Banff this past September albeit in secrecy.  Why?
Because there’s A LOT MORE on the table than just transportation or trade issues.  Allow me to illuminate.

For those of you who ‘missed it’, NORAD no longer exists.

Control of what was once sovereign Canadian airspace under a bi-national and ‘shared’ command was effectively dissolved in
October 02′ by the creation of USNORTHCOM.  Under this new command, Cheyenne mountain is being mothballed and operations
of what used to be NORAD have been transferred to what is refered to as N2C2.

Asisde from North American aerospace, USNORTHCOM also fully intends to take control of all North American sea lanes and
approaches out to 500 miles which may seem a little confusing for a command structure based in Colorado, however, once one
notices that the commander of USNORTHCOM is an Admiral, the strategy makes sense.

Ahh but what about the land component you ask?

Meet America’s newest command – USARNORTH: established to ‘protect the American people and
their way of life’.

And where might we find USARNORTH?  How about Ft. Sam Houston where low and behold… construction of the NAFTA
Superhighway has begun.


May/June 2007

Is a superhighway shaping the economic and political future of Canada? That’s what Richard D. Vogel argues in the cover story
of the current issue of Canadian Dimension. We also celebrate May Day with articles on “women’s” work (by Bernadette
Wagner) and human trafficking (by Amardeep Kaur Gill) in our second-annual feature, 
Labour Activists who are Changing the
, and we get the dirt on Canadian mining companies operating in Guatemala and Honduras.


Bush’s unpublicized project that’s going to make a lot of people really angry.

Close your eyes, please.  Picture a big map of the US.  Now look at a massive new highway running north/south through the
center of the country, four football fields wide.  Isn’t that 400 yards? Equals 1200 feet?  Which is almost a quarter of a mile
or half a kilometer? 
You can open your eyes now and see where the highway goes. 

It’s a little like a tree with its roots in Mexico, two major roots running north and northeast to Laredo.  Once past Laredo and
into south Texas, it charges straight north, 400 yards wide, to Kansas City.  There it splits, one branch running through Chicago
and Detroit to Toronto and Montreal, the other branch running northwest through Omaha and Fargo to Winnipeg and then to
the west coast of Canada.

It’s no bike path.  It’s new NAFTA highway.

Once complete, the new road will allow containers from the Far East to enter the United States through the Mexican
port of Lazaro Cardenas, bypassing the Longshoreman’s Union in the process. The Mexican trucks, without the
involvement of the Teamsters Union, will drive on what will be the nation’s most modern highway straight into the heart
of America. The Mexican trucks will cross border in FAST lanes, checked only electronically by the new “SENTRI”
system. The first customs stop will be a Mexican customs office in Kansas City, their new Smart Port complex, a facility
being built for Mexico at a cost of $3 million to the U.S. taxpayers in Kansas City.

You think I’m kidding?  The project has been on the hotplate here in Texas for a couple of years with protesters trying to stop it.
They can’t.

As incredible as this plan may seem to some readers, the first Trans-Texas Corridor segment of the NAFTA Super Highway
is ready to begin construction next year. Various U.S. government agencies, dozens of state agencies, and scores of private
NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have been working behind the scenes to create the NAFTA Super Highway, despite
the lack of comment on the plan by President Bush. The American public is largely asleep to this key piece of the coming
“North American Union” that government planners in the new trilateral region of United States, Canada and Mexico are
about to drive into reality.

You haven’t heard about it? Maybe that’s because the plan includes a lot of politically very unpopular features.  For starters, it will
have a huge and very negative environmental impact, starting with the farm and ranchland seized in order to have 400 yards of
asphalt and pollution, not even taking into account the service industries growing up along the length of it.  Then there’s the matter
of bypassing union labor.  Oh, and the open border it requires at both ends — that should send some Minute Men into convulsions.
And no “robust debate.”  No way.

Missing in the move toward creating a North American Union is the robust public debate that preceded the decision to form
the European Union. All this may be for calculated political reasons on the part of the Bush Administration. A good reason
Bush does not want to secure the border with Mexico may be that the administration is trying to create express lanes for
Mexican trucks to bring containers with cheap Far East goods into the heart of the U.S., all without the involvement of any
U.S. union workers on the docks or in the trucks.

For more on this quiet blockbuster of a project yet to hit the mainstream media,
you’ll need to check out the article at Human Events, a conservative journal.

Posted on June 17, 2006


YouTube – Winnipeg – North American Union Trade Hub

Winnipeg – North American Union Trade Hub …. NAFTA …
Watch video – 2 min 18 sec –

The Mother of All Bureaucracies-NASCO

 By Nancy Thomson

It isn’t possible to have a Mother of All Highways unless there is an equivalent organization to back it up. Voila, we have the
North America’s Superhighway Coalition, Inc. (NASCO)

In the past it was our American companies going international overseas, the UN, IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the
World Bank that were frittering away our money for use in the far reaches of the globe. With the introduction of NASCO the US
has become its own global target. We are internationalizing ourselves!

According to their own pubic relation’s release, NASCO is a multi-state, international non-profit corporation. Their board of
directors successfully lobbied Congress to create and provide funds for the International Trade Corridors “(ITC) This included
$7oo million in Contract Authority under the new federal highway bill… the Transportation Equity Act (TEA 21) Again lobbying
Congress successfully, NASCO was able to get almost $350 million for special projects along the Corridor. Highways I-36 and
I-29 were named as “high priority corridors” under the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 and (TEA-21)”

Did Mexico and Canada also lobby their governments for money to build this colossal rite of passage for imports?

Many of our national highways will start charging tolls and we will have to pay to travel on our own roads. These additional fees
will be added to the International Highway coffers along with federal, state, and “private”(Chinese?) funding. The manufacturing
of many high line products have left US shores and transplanted themselves in slave labor China. We now import goods from the
Chinese that were originally made in the USA. This accounts for the $60 billion dollar trade deficit with this communist country.
Importing to us is the most important way to fund their military and this NAFTA trade Corridor will increase their access

Why shouldn’t the Chinese donate to a cause that increases their income, allots some control of the project, and furthers the
US economic downslide?

The membership of this trade organization is a conglomeration of US cities, counties, and states, Canadian cities and provinces,
many Chamber’s of Commerce, and private sector businesses such as the Ambassador Bridge at the international border crossing
of Detroit and Windsor. Coalition leadership has passed to Oklahoma State Majority Whip, Keith Leftwich, and a Democrat who
wrote the resolution authorizing his states’ membership in NASCO.

Leftwich hopes to add new funding for trade corridors, and increased research for technology in dealing with increased traffic
demands. He also wants creation of International Trade Processing Centers (ITPCS) to manage trade flow, and a “clean corridor”
to reduce congestion. Links to local, state, and provincial economies along the corridor will be encouraged.

The three NAFTA nations mid-continent corridor will be intermodal trade, and the goal is to facilitate movement of people (illegal
aliens?) and goods. NASCO will increase the “public private partnerships”(this means international control of everything) They
will “explore strategic alliances with other corridor coalitions.”

This veiled language doesn’t fool anyone who knows the government’s trade agenda of incorporating all of this hemisphere and
Africa into NAFTA. These added areas would become the “strategic partners mentioned for other coalitions.

Buried among all the hype about The International Trade Corridor (ITC) is language that indicates this system will function is a
variety of regulatory ways.

  • It will support government trade agencies. Will this support include NAFTA, GATT and the WTO?
  • ITC will aid in state government’s enforcement of safety and environmental laws.
  • The collection of TAXES, TOLLS and USER FEES will be enforced by the states and the ITC.
  • TC system will insure “citizens” that state and federal agencies HAVE THE MEANS of enforcement for safety,
    environmental and that taxes, fees , and tolls are being fairly assessed and collected.

Getting local people and officials in the Corridor areas all involved is key to implementing the program. Locals have all sorts of
traffic problems they want solved by using federal funds. .A good example of this is Austin Texas and the surrounding territory.
Traffic congestion abounds on the I-35, and the cost of alleviating the situation by building a bypass would cost $1 billion dollars.
NAFTA supporters have always considered I-35 as the preliminary super highway for goods from Mexico coming into the US.
This of course, is the explanation for the traffic overflow.

A Texas delegation wants Congress to create “an international trade corridor” and make Texas eligible for hundreds of millions
of dollars. This internationalizing transportation is a new money source! Texas gets the money and the internationalists working
in conjunction with Washington have a hook in another state’s transportation structure.

A state study, which would officially accept NASCO’S own 1995 version of the Superhighway and this, would unite state and
Coalition projects. Public meetings will be held in major Texas cities this March.

In April, 1994, Denton County Judge Jeff Moseley founded the eight – state coalition.

His coalition employs three Washington lobbyists to pressure Congress on behalf of the Corridor cause. How could anyone
question an enterprise in which a judge becomes a leader?

The arrogance of officials involved in spending of taxpayer’s money is nowhere more evident than in the statements of Jim
Francis, the coalition’s strategic advisor. NASCO’S study identified $5.5 billion for 1-35 long term, He stated that the Interstate
29 interlocking road that heads north to Winnipeg Canada could have major improvements by spending” several hundred million
dollars” in the next five years.

But , Francis said,” But it is more then just getting money for 1-35 It’s getting Congress to recognize funds for trade corridors
over and beyond the various state funds.”

Major heartland points represented in the NAFTA trade route are Winnipeg Canada, Iowa. Kansas

City Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Detroit/ Windsor. Officials in all these areas are looking forward to globalization increasing
their income in the marketplace. Our industries are disappearing so there is less and less to export. We have a $ 3 hundred billion
dollar trade deficit even without this trade corridor. How short sighted these Americans in their push to establish US subsidized
markets for foreign countries. They are so easily led by false crusaders of globalism.


EU worming it’s way into ‘Kanada’?

Posted: Jul 02, 2007 8:16 am    Post subject: EU worming it’s way into ‘Kanada’?  
Quebec seeks free-trade deals with Ontario, EU

Quebec’s minority government will seek a free-trade agreement with Ontario as part of Premier
Jean Charest’s attempt to revive the province’s economy and regain popular support. Mr. Charest
also reiterated his proposal to seek a free-trade deal with the European Union.


Globe and Mail

Quebec seeks free-trade deals with Ontario, EU


May 10, 2007

QUEBEC — Quebec’s minority government will seek a free-trade agreement with Ontario as part
of Premier Jean Charest’s attempt to revive the province’s economy and regain popular support
after March’s disappointing election result for his Liberal government.

In the inaugural speech outlining the priorities of the province’s first minority government in more
than a century, 
Mr. Charest also reiterated his proposal to seek a free-trade deal with the
European Union.

“We are in the process of building an interconnection with Ontario in order to export more
electricity to our neighbours,” the Premier said. “We will draw inspiration from this connection to
lift the barriers that still hamper trade between us. We will propose that Ontario enter into a
free-trade agreement with Quebec.”

The deal would be similar to the one signed between Alberta and British Columbia that
eliminated trade barriers between the two provinces, a Charest aide said.

At the same time, Mr. Charest hopes to persuade businesses and other political leaders to rally
“behind our proposal for a new economic partnership with the European Union.”

He is pushing economic development as the focus of his new mandate in an attempt
to overcome voter dissatisfaction after the Liberals’ worst electoral performance to date. In
the March 26 election, the party got just 33 per cent of the vote and won 48 of the 125 ridings.
The setback was in part due to the Liberals’ failure to meet a 2003 campaign promise to cut
taxes by $1-billion a year.

In his inaugural speech yesterday, Mr. Charest warned that he will defy the opposition parties’
objections to his latest promise to cut taxes.

The Liberals plan to take advantage of the upheaval in the Parti Québécois, sparked by the
sudden resignation on Tuesday of leader André Boisclair, to push through a promise to use
new federal funds to cut taxes by $950-million.

Yesterday, newly elected PQ interim leader François Gendron said that a tax cut is not a good
idea, but the PQ may have no choice but to support it.

“What is certain is that voters do not want to go into another election this June,” he said.

Mr. Charest is gambling that the PQ will eventually vote in favour of the tax cut to forestall
another election.

Responding to what he believes is voter demand for a more right-wing agenda, Mr. Charest
also promised to open the door to more private clinics and lift the freeze on university tuition.

The speech contained few bold initiatives, prompting Official Opposition Leader Mario Dumont
to say that the Liberals adopted many of the proposals of his Action Démocratique du Québec.

“It seems Mr. Charest stole ingredients from the ADQ buffet and it shows he has no clear recipe
in his head, no clear vision for Quebec,” Mr. Dumont said.

Mr. Charest’s minority government also promised to respond to voter concerns about the
“reasonable accommodation” of certain religious groups.

Voter backlash on this issue cost the Liberals votes and boosted support for the ADQ, which
denounced the demands of some minorities.

Mr. Charest emphasized the need to strike a balance between accommodating religious
minorities and protecting Quebec’s identity and values.

“To be born in Quebec is a blessing, to immigrate to Quebec is a privilege. Integrating
immigrants is a responsibility. It is a reciprocal gesture,” Mr. Charest said in arguing that
immigrants need to embrace Quebec values, such as the equality between men and women.

One of the more popular initiatives announced yesterday is a bill to limit access to semi-automatic
guns. Dubbed the Anastasia bill in memory of Anastasia De Sousa, who was killed in a shooting
rampage at Montreal’s Dawson College last September, the bill could require gun owners to
store semi-automatic guns in special facilities at designated firing ranges.

My feeling is that if Quebec wants full integration with the EU then it’s probably better if they
are a country quite removed from Canada if at all possible. I also have my doubts if there is
such a thing as a ‘free’ trade deal with the European Union. As others have said though it’s
quite possible the EU don’t really give a flying f–k about having another free trade deal with
Canada or other parts of Canada.

It occurred to me that this is just more trolling-agit prop bullshit put out by the anarchist-punk
types so they can snicker up their sleeves at us just like that bullshit story about the NAFTA
superhighway from Mexico over the US to Winnipeg. Fcuken brilliant assholes. However the
fact that a moron like Jean Charest in control of a whole province of Canada thinks this is a
good idea is cause for alarm. Does this assclown know anything?

Posted: July 29, 2007
5:00 p.m. Eastern

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007

Vice President Cheney

Despite evidence to the contrary, Vice President Dick Cheney says there is no “secret plan” to create a continent-crossing superhighway to help facilitate a merger of the United States, Mexico and Canada. “The administration is not engaged in a secret plan to create a ‘NAFTA super highway,'” asserts Cheney in a recent letter to a constituent, according to a copy of the message obtained by WND. The vice president’s letter quotes an Aug. 21 statement from the U.S. Department of Transportation that, “The concept of a super highway has been around since the early 1990s, usually in the form of a claim that the U.S. Department of Transportation is going to designate such a highway.”

DOT then refutes the claim, stating, “The Department of Transportation has never had the statutory authority to designate a NAFTA super highway and has never sought such authority.” The DOT statement then retracts the absolute nature of that statement, qualifying that, “The Department of Transportation will continue to cooperate with the State transportation departments in the I-35 corridor as they upgrade this vital interstate highway to meet 21st century needs.

for the I-35W bridge collapse on 7-31-07 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

President George Bush states that he will help get the bridge rebuilt quickly.  The cost will be about $500,000,000.

However, these efforts are the routine activities of a Department that cooperates with all the state transportation departments to improve the Nation’s intermodal transportation network.” The DOT statement cited by the vice president seems to model the denial recently fashioned by the North America’s SuperCorridor Coalition, Inc., or NASCO, on its website. There NASCO states, “There a no plans to build a new NAFTA Superhighway ¨C it exists today as I-35.” The coalition continues to distinguish its support for a North American “SuperCorridor” from a “NAFTA Superhighway,” asserting that a “SuperCorridor is not ‘Super-sized.”

The website then claims NASCO uses the term “SuperCorridor” to demonstrate “we are more than just a highway coalition.” In a July 21, 2006, internal e-mail obtained by WND under a Missouri Sunshine Law request, Tiffany Melvin, executive director of NASCO, cautions “NASCO friends and members” that, “We have to stay away from ‘SuperCorridor’ because it is a very bad, hot button right now.” As WND previously reported, Jeffrey Shane, undersecretary of transportation for policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation got into a spirited exchange in January with congressmen after he asserted to a House
subcommittee that NAFTA Superhighways were an “urban legend.” In response to questioning by Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, before the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Shane asserted he was “not familiar with any plan at all, related to NAFTA or cross-border traffic.” Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., then questioned aloud whether Shane was just “gaming semantics” when responding to Poe’s question.

In June 2006, when first writing about NASCO, WND displayed the original homepage of NASCO, which used to open with a map highlighting the I-35 corridor from Mexico to Canada, arguing the trade group and its members were actively promoting a NAFTA superhighway.

NASCO’s original map highlighted the I-35 corridor from Mexico to Canada (See top of page)

Click to join catapultthepropaganda

Click to join openmindopencodenews

In what appears to be the third major revamping of the NASCO website since WND first began writing articles about NASCO, the Dallas-based trade group carefully removes identifying NASCO with the words behind the acronym, “North America’s SuperCorridor Coalition, Inc.,” which the original NASCO website once proudly
proclaimed. The current NASCO homepage displays a photo montage of intermodal highway scenes, presumably taken along I-35, but without any map displaying a continental I-35 super corridor linking Mexico and Canada.

NASCO currently relegates the continental I-35 map to an internal webpage that describes the North American Inland Ports Network as a “working group” within NASCO that supports inland member cities who have designated themselves as “inland ports,” seeking to warehouse container traffic originating in Mexican
ports on the Pacific such as Manzanillo and Lázaro Cárdenas. The beige and blue continental I-35 map now
positioned on an internal page of the NASCO website was originally used as the second NASCO website, in make-over of the original NASCO blue and yellow continental I-35 map that made the continental nature of the I-35 appear graphically more pronounced. WND has also previously reported that in a speech to NASCO on April 30, 2004, Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta referred to Interstate Highways 35, 29 and 94 ¨C the core highways supported by NASCO as a prime “North American Super Corridor” ¨C Mineta commented to NASCO that the trade group “recognized that the success of the NAFTA relationship depends on mobility ¨C on the movement of people, of products, and of capital across borders.” WND has also reported Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a GOP presidential candidate, introduced an amendment to H.R.
3074, the Transportation Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2008, prohibiting the use of federal funds for participating in working groups under the Security and Prosperity Partnership, including the creation of NAFTA
Superhighways. On July 24, Hunter’s amendment passed 362 to 63, with strong bipartisan support. Later, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3074 by a margin of 268-153. The bill has been sent to the Senate with Hunter’s amendment included. According to Freedom of Information Request documents obtained by WND, Jeffrey Shane has been appointed by the Bush administration to be the U.S. lead bureaucrat on the North American Transportation Working Group under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. On July 23, 1997, the NAFTA Superhighway Coalition was formed to promote continental highway development in association with the Ambassador Bridge.


Jerome R. Corsi is a staff reporter for WND. He received a Ph.D. from Harvard
University in political science in 1972 and has written many books and articles,
including his latest best-seller, “The Late Great USA.” Corsi co-authored with
John O’Neill the No. 1 New York Times best-seller, “Unfit for Command: Swift
Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry.” Other books include “Showdown with
Nuclear Iran,” “Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics
of Oil,” which he co-authored with WND columnist Craig. R. Smith, and “Atomic

North American Union driver’s license created
Logo intended to standardize documentation across continent

New security logo on the reverse of
North Carolina’s driver’s licenses

Security and Prosperity Partnership logo

Posted: September 6, 2007By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007

The first “North American Union” driver’s license, complete with a hologram of the continent on the reverse, has been created in North Carolina.

“The North Carolina driver’s license is ‘North American Union’ ready,” charges William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration.

Gheen provided WND with a photo of an actual North Carolina license which clearly shows the hologram of the North American continent embedded on the reverse.

“The hologram looks exactly [like] the map of North America that is used as the background for the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America logo on the SPP website,” Gheen told WND. “I object to the loss of sovereignty that is proceeding under the agreements being made by these unelected government bureaucrats who think we should be North American instead of the United States of America.

“To protest, I don’t plan on applying for a North Carolina driver’s license,” Gheen told WND, “even though I am a resident of the state. I don’t see how a Division of Motor Vehicles authorized in a Department of Transportation of a state of the United States can force me to have a license place that is designed with a North American Union insignia printed on the backside.

“My decision not to get a North Carolina driver’s license could have very difficult consequences for me,” Gheen told WND. “Without a valid driver’s license, I may not be able to drive a car, fly on an airplane, or enter a government building.”

Gheen told WND he does not have a U.S. passport.

 In 2005, WND reported North Carolina was the state where illegal immigrants go to get a driver’s license, with busloads of aliens traveling south on I-95 to get an easy ID.The Tar Heel State’s requirements to obtain a license are weaker than those of many surrounding states.

Marge Howell, spokeswoman for the North Carolina DMV, affirmed to WND the state was embedding a hologram of North America on the back of its new driver’s licenses.

“It’s a security element that eventually will be on the back of every driver’s license in North America,” Howell told WND.

Howell explained the hologram of the continent was the creation of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization that, according to the group’s website, “develops model programs in motor vehicle administration, law enforcement and highway safety.”

Founded in 1933, AAMVA represents state and provincial officials in the United States and Canada who administer and enforce motor vehicle laws. The government of Mexico is also a member, though the individual Mexican states have yet to join.

According to the group’s website, AAMVA’s programs are designed “to encourage uniformity and reciprocity among the states and provinces.”

“The goal of the North American hologram,” Howell explained, “is to get one common element that law enforcement throughout the continent can look at on all driver’s licenses and tell that the driver’s license is an official document.”

Jason King, spokesman for AAMVA, affirmed the North American hologram was created by AAMVA’s Uniform Identification Subcommittee, a working group of its members.

He explained the goal is to create a continental security device that could be used by state and provincial motor vehicles agencies throughout North America, including the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

King referenced a document on the AAMVA website that describes guidelines for using the North America continent hologram as an Optical Variable Device (OVD) that AAMVA has now licensed with private manufacturers to produce.

AAMVA supplies member motor vehicle agencies with a quantity of North American continent hologram OVD foils to use on their driver’s licenses and ID cards as needed.

As the AAMVA guidelines document explains, each North American hologram OVD foil is embedded with a unique set of control numbers that permit law enforcement electronic scanners to identify the exact jurisdiction and precise individual authorized to hold a driver’s license or ID card.

“AAMVA understands its unique positioning and the continuing role identification security will play in helping the general public realize a safer North America,” King explained to WND in an e-mail. “The association believes ID security will help increase national security, increase highway safety, reduce fraud and system abuse, increase efficiency and effectiveness, and achieve uniformity of processes and practices.”

Jim Palmer, press director for ALIPAC, told WND his group first became aware of the hologram when Missouri State Rep. Jim Guestheld a seminar in North Carolina to protest the Real ID law.

The surprise came at a meeting July 28 on the Real ID that Palmer held in Raleigh, N.C.

“When Rep. Guest asked participants to take out their driver’s license and see what was on it,” Palmer explained, “one gentleman was a state employee and on his license there was this hologram with the North American continent on the back. We were all surprised to see that on a North Carolina driver’s license. Right there, that stopped the show.”

Guest has formed a coalition called Legislators Against Real ID Act, or LARI.

“I was astonished when I saw that North American hologram on the North Carolina driver’s license,” Guest told WND. “I thought to myself that the state DMV has already included this North American symbol on the back of the driver’s license without telling the people of North Carolina they were going to do this.

“I thought right then that this was going to be the prototype for the driver’s license of the North American Union,” Guest said.

“When we called the North Carolina DMV, they hedged at first,” Guest said, “but finally they admitted that, yes, there was a North American continent hologram on the back of the license.

“This is part of a plan by bureaucrats and trade groups that act like bureaucrats to little by little transform us into a North American Union without any vote being taken and without explaining to the U.S. public what they are doing,” Guest argued.

King explained AAMVA’s Uniform Identification Subcommittee created a number of task forces, including the Card Design Specification that developed the North America hologram.

“The Task Group surveyed and met with many stakeholders during the development effort,” King wrote to WND. “The Task Force gathered information from government and non-government users of the driver’s License/ID card to determine their uses for the DL/ID card and how they believe the card should function. In addition, the Task Group surveyed and met with industry experts in the area of card production and security to gather their advice, especially about the physical security of the card.”

King told WND the Task Group work was repeatedly reviewed by the UID Subcommittee as a whole, with final approval coming from the AAMVA Board.

In 2006, WND reported Pastor Rios Sanchez, 55, an illegal alien, was accused of killing three people, including two North Carolina State University students and a 26-year-old, while driving drunk.

“People who think the Real ID was created to keep illegal aliens from getting driver’s licenses and IDs should come to North Carolina,” Gheen told WND. “What the North Carolina DMV is doing is creating the basis for a continental driver’s license.

“What difference does it make to North Carolina if an illegal alien gets a driver’s license?” Gheen asked. “The photo on the license creates a close face scan that can be identified by face recognition technology, whether the DMV admits it or not.

“Illegal aliens who get driver’s licenses are just being scanned in advance,” Gheen concluded.

“Illegal aliens who get driver’s licenses or IDs in North Carolina are just being prepared for their admission into the North America Union driver pool that North Carolina is at the vanguard of creating,” Gheen said. “That is the truth, whether the North Carolina DMV or the AAMVA want to admit it or not.”

King told WND North Carolina is the first AAMVA member jurisdiction to use the North America hologram on a driver’s license or ID card.

CFR’s Plan to Integrate the U.S., Mexico and Canada

by Phyllis Schlafly, July 13, 2005

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has just let the cat out of the bag about what’s really behind our trade agreements and security partnerships with the other North American countries. A 59-page CFR document spells out a five-year plan for the “establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community” with a common “outer security perimeter.”

“Community” means integrating the United States with the corruption, socialism, poverty and population of Mexico and Canada. “Common perimeter” means wide-open U.S. borders between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

“Community” is sometimes called “space” but the CFR goal is clear: “a common economic space … for all people in the region, a space in which trade, capital, and people flow freely.” The CFR’s “integrated” strategy calls for “a more open border for the movement of goods and people.”

The CFR document lays “the groundwork for the freer flow of people within North America.” The “common security perimeter” will require us to “harmonize visa and asylum regulations” with Mexico and Canada, “harmonize entry screening,” and “fully share data about the exit and entry of foreign nationals.”

This CFR document, called “Building a North American Community,” asserts that George W. Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin “committed their governments” to this goal when they met at Bush’s ranch and at Waco, Texas on March 23, 2005. The three adopted the “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America” and assigned “working groups” to fill in the details.

It was at this same meeting, grandly called the North American summit, that President Bush pinned the epithet “vigilantes” on the volunteers guarding our border in Arizona.

A follow-up meeting was held in Ottawa on June 27, where the U.S. representative, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, told a news conference that “we want to facilitate the flow of traffic across our borders.” The White House issued a statement that the Ottawa report “represents an important first step in achieving the goals of the Security and Prosperity Partnership.”

The CFR document calls for creating a “North American preference” so that employers can recruit low-paid workers from anywhere in North America. No longer will illegal aliens have to be smuggled across the border; employers can openly recruit foreigners willing to work for a fraction of U.S. wages.

Just to make sure that bringing cheap labor from Mexico is an essential part of the plan, the CFR document calls for “a seamless North American market” and for “the extension of full labor mobility to Mexico.”

The document’s frequent references to “security” are just a cover for the real objectives. The document’s “security cooperation” includes the registration of ballistics and explosives, while Canada specifically refused to cooperate with our Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).

To no one’s surprise, the CFR plan calls for massive U.S. foreign aid to the other countries. The burden on the U.S. taxpayers will include so-called “multilateral development” from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, “long-term loans in pesos,” and a North American Investment Fund to send U.S. private capital to Mexico.

The experience of the European Union and the World Trade Organization makes it clear that a common market requires a court system, so the CFR document calls for “a permanent tribunal for North American dispute resolution.” Get ready for decisions from non-American judges who make up their rules ad hoc and probably hate the United States anyway.

The CFR document calls for allowing Mexican trucks “unlimited access” to the United States, including the hauling of local loads between U.S. cities. The CFR document calls for adopting a “tested once” principle for pharmaceuticals, by which a product tested in Mexico will automatically be considered to have met U.S. standards.

The CFR document demands that we implement “the Social Security Totalization Agreement negotiated between the United States and Mexico.” That’s code language for putting illegal aliens into the U.S. Social Security system, which is bound to bankrupt the system.

Here’s another handout included in the plan. U.S. taxpayers are supposed to create a major fund to finance 60,000 Mexican students to study in U.S. colleges.

To ensure that the U.S. government carries out this plan so that it is “achievable” within five years, the CFR calls for supervision by a North American Advisory Council of “eminent persons from outside government . . . along the lines of the Bilderberg” conferences.

The best known Americans who participated in the CFR Task Force that wrote this document are former Massachusetts Governor William Weld and Bill Clinton’s immigration chief Doris Meissner. Another participant, American University Professor Robert Pastor, presented the CFR plan at a friendly hearing of Senator Richard Lugar’s Foreign Relations Committee on June 9.

Ask your Senators and Representatives which side they are on: the CFR’s integrated North American Community or U.S. sovereignty guarded by our own borders.



The framework on which the American Union is being pegged is the NAFTA Super Highway, a four football-fields-wide leviathan that stretches from southern …





Highway Robbery: Public-Private Infrastructure Partnerships

How “public-private-partnerships” extract private profit from public infrastructure projects.


View the Original Article.

In 1995, California granted a private company the right to construct express toll lanes along the State Route 91 freeway in Orange County, a region inhabited by millions, with some of the heaviest traffic flows in the nation. This was the first modern privatized highway in the United States. The California Private Transportation Company (CPTC), a partnership of three corporations—Level 3 Communications, Granite Construction, Inc., and the French toll operator Cofiroute SA—completed the project with $130 million in mostly privately sourced money. To recoup this expense, and to make a profit, CPTC was given a 35-year concession to operate the toll route. State leaders promised that the private company would provide greater efficiency and savings, and that the public would benefit from clear and safe roads, even during a time of government budget constraints.

It did not take long for things to unravel. The SR-91 toll lanes did not unclog what local traffic reporters referred to as the “Corona Crawl,” so state and local officials sought to expand nearby highways to ease worsening congestion and improve safety. When transportation offices announced the improvement plans, CPTC unexpectedly filed a lawsuit, citing a non-compete clause in their contract to build and operate the toll lanes. The people of California were legally blocked from improving their highways because it could reduce private profits. In 2003, the Orange County Transportation Authority was forced to purchase the SR-91 toll lanes for $208 million to put an end to the fiasco.

In 2004, California’s state legislature halted the experiment in privatizing highways. But that did not stop other states from pushing forward with privatization. In Virginia and Texas, several major privatized freeways were built in the 2000s. Then, in 2009, things came full circle. California once again authorized so-called public-private partnerships to procure highways and other public goods. Although privatization of transportation projects has a tarnished record, owing much to California’s costly experiments over a decade ago, all across the United States major highway and other infrastructure upgrades are once again being handed over to private investors, now under the moniker of “public-private partnerships,” or P3.

P3 is at least three things:

It is a rebranding of privatization. The phrase purposefully evokes a win-win scenario involving equal “partners” working toward a common goal. Government leaders have been sold this new kind of privatization as a solution to declining tax revenues and borrowing capacity, while private companies claim to be offering their expertise and capital in a spirit of public service.

It is the result of a long ideological campaign against public-sector unions and “big government,” which conservative think tanks, pundits, and politicians blame for growing deficits and crumbling infrastructure. This worldview, meanwhile, hails private companies and the private profit motive as the bearers of efficiency and fiscal discipline.

Finally, P3 is obviously a money-making opportunity. It is propelled by an infrastructure-industrial complex composed of global construction corporations, investment banks, private-equity firms, and elite law firms organized as vertically integrated consortiums. Allied through their own trade associations, they are actively pressing for new laws to expand the types of public infrastructure from which they can extract profits, and in recent years they have been quietly succeeding.

A New Kind of Privatization

To understand the P3 privatization model, it is best to start with the basics of the traditional public model of infrastructure development. In the United States, this is known as the “design-bid-build” process. Take, for example, a state highway. State engineers usually design a project, sometimes by contracting out work to engineering firms. With blueprints ready, the state department of transportation allows companies to bid against one another for the construction contract. Meanwhile, the state borrows money by selling bonds, usually at low cost, because banks compete to serve as underwriters. The state then uses the bond proceeds to pay the lowest-bidding construction company to build the project. Bond holders are paid back over a longer period, usually from gasoline taxes or other tax revenues dedicated to infrastructure funding. The entire process is characterized by the monopoly power of the state (assumed to be acting in the public interest) forcing private companies to compete against one another, and so to drive down costs.

Privatization of transportation infrastructure under the P3 model is different from what we usually think of as privatization. Most people define privatization as the actual private ownership of roads, bridges, ports and other goods used by the public. The P3 version of privatization stops short of allowing investors to legally own a highway, instead offering private companies varying degrees of monopoly control (depending on the deal) over different parts of a project. Under the P3 model, investors can exercise greater control over the design, financing, construction, and maintenance of a public good, allowing them to extract profits from public infrastructure, without actually needing to literally own the asset.

South Bay Expressway:
A Failed P3

Macquarie Infrastructure
(originally Parsons-Brinckerhoff)

$658 million

•Bank debt: $340 million
•Investor equity: $130 million

•TIFIA loan: $140 million
•Donated right of way: $48 million

San Diego’s South Bay Expressway (SBX) was the second privatized highway authorized for construction in the United States after California passed the nation’s first P3 legislation in 1989. The SBX was to be financed, built, maintained, and operated under a 35-year contract between California and the Parsons Brinckerhoff company.

Although P3s are said to transfer risks from the public to a private partner, which supposedly can better manage risk and reduce costs, the SBX is an example of how P3s create and multiply risks. Parsons Brinckerhoff spent much of its time fighting environmental and community opposition to the SBX, finally selling the nearly finalized plans to Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, an Australian investment bank, in 2003. During construction Macquarie also quarreled with the contractors, Fluor and URS Corp., two global construction giants, over cost overruns and delays. To make matters worse, the housing bubble was already showing signs of bursting in southern California; few of the homes planned along the toll highway were ever built, leading to far fewer drivers along the route than earlier projections.

No sooner did the toll road open to traffic than the Macquarie shell company that legally owned the road filed for bankruptcy, due to continuing disputes with construction contractors who had sought to recoup their losses, as well as the lower-than-expected traffic. This ended up costing the project’s private creditors and the federal government tens of millions of dollars. As a result of the bankruptcy, the U.S. Department of Transportation was forced to cut its claims against the company by about $80 million, a huge “haircut” for taxpayers.

Extracting Profits

P3 legislation reorganizes the infrastructure- procurement process to allow private investors to extract profits from various phases of a project.

A major source of profit is the suppression of market competition. The typical bidders on a P3 project are consortiums that include global construction companies, investment banks, private-equity firms, and engineering firms. Together, they can fulfill the design, finance, construction, operations, and maintenance obligations that P3 contracts require. Unlike the traditional infrastructure procurement process, the P3 model eliminates competitive bidding from later phases of a project. The consortiums only have to compete against a handful of other multi-billion dollar construction firms and investment banks to secure the initial contract for the entire project. The size and complexity of P3 contracts means that many smaller, more specialized companies are eliminated from bidding. P3 contracts therefore usually have few bidders and, as a result, a higher price tag.

By unifying a project under a single contract, moreover, P3 also provides significant authority to the private consortium to cut its own costs. P3 contractors can squeeze higher profits out of a project by altering its design, by using non-union subcontractors, or by paying lower wages.

Another source of profits derives from the byzantine financial arrangements at the heart of a typical P3 contract. Unlike traditional infrastructure projects, P3s involve the use of private equity and debt, along with public loan subsidies, to construct a highway. P3 projects depend on several sources of private financing. The so-called “equity” investment, usually drawn from the consortium partners’ own internal operating funds, gives them a small stake in a project’s construction phase. P3 proponents say that, with their own money at risk, the private partners have an incentive to deliver a project on time and below cost.

The main source of project financing, however, comes from investment banks that lend to the consortium partners. P3 proponents claim that this private financing source is a solution to the budgetary constraints of governments that face huge backlogs of deferred infrastructure investment. A recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, however, shows the flaw in this argument: “The case is sometimes made that using funds from private capital markets to finance roads can increase the resources available to build, operate and maintain roads,” the report notes. “But the sources of revenues available to pay for the cost of a highway project —whether it uses the traditional financing approach or a public-private partnership—are the same: specifically, tolls paid by users or taxes collected by either the federal government or by state and local governments.”

The ultimate source of project financing, then, is always the public, either through tolls or taxes. Why then allow private banks, drawing from private capital markets, to serve as intermediaries? Private financing simply permits the insertion of the financial interests of investment banks and private-equity funds into the long-term wealth-producing potential of public infrastructure. By allowing private investors to fund the construction of a project, the state allows these parties to impose their monopolistic claims on future flows of tax or toll revenues.

Public Risks, Private Profits

Because privately financing and operating public infrastructure is actually more expensive than doing so through a public authority, the concept of risk becomes central to how P3 proponents justify infrastructure privatization. P3 advocates argue that the traditional design-bid-build model including public ownership, operation, and maintenance of a highway, exposes the state to risks that threaten to inflate the cost of a project.

Sources of risk include everything from changes in interest rates to labor strikes, and they can (and occasionally do) conspire to drive up a project’s cost. Proponents of the P3 model claim that, by handing a project’s finance, construction, and other phases over to a private consortium for a pre-determined price, the public transfers over these risks as well. The extra money the state must pay the P3 consortium—the private investors’ profits—are therefore justified because the private investors are now shouldering these risks. The state is said to obtain “value for money,” the value being less risk for an extra sum.

The P3 industry, however, has worked hard in recent years to make sure its members are, in fact, exposed to very little risk. For P3 projects built in California, Texas, Virginia, and Florida in the 1990s and early 2000s, industry profits were largely extracted from the public through tolls. Tolls, however, did not always produce the revenue necessary for the private companies to turn a profit. Several early P3 toll highways failed miserably after assumptions about traffic flows failed to pan out, causing bankruptcies, and leaving the public to foot much of the bill.

The South Bay Expressway in California, a private toll highway owned by the Australian investment bank Macquarie Capital, went bankrupt in 2010. A bankruptcy judge forced U.S. taxpayers who had subsidized the project with federal loans to take a 42% loss. The Camino Colombia Toll Road in Texas also went bankrupt after lower-than-expected traffic flows failed to produce toll revenues to repay investors. Camino Colombia was auctioned off in 2004. The road’s main creditor, John Hancock Life Insurance, purchased Camino Colombia for $12 million and then turned around and resold it to the Texas Department of Transportation the next year for $20 million.

Even though the public ended up footing much of the bill for failed toll-funded projects, the P3 industry’s lobbyists have pushed for a new, sure-thing revenue system. They have rewritten state laws in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Oregon, and Texas to shift toward an “availability payment” model. Availability payments are akin to lease payments, whereby the state pays the private developer of a highway to maintain the road for public use. Rather than collecting tolls from drivers who use the route, the state pays the private developer directly from general state revenues collected through a gasoline tax or other taxes. Availability payments protect P3 developers against the risks associated with toll-road financing because the road’s owners no longer have to estimate future traffic flows, or rely on macro-economic trends beyond their control, like regional housing bubbles. They simply are guaranteed payments directly from the state over a span of several decades.

Although P3s are advertised as tapping the power of private capital markets to invest in public infrastructure, the reality is that P3 investors enjoy large public subsidies. For example, private companies building P3 highway projects now routinely expect states to grant them authority to issue qualified private activity bonds (PABs). Unlike most lending in private capital markets, interest payments on PABs are exempt from federal taxes (because the cash proceeds are expected to be put to use building goods with broad public utility, rather than projects that solely benefit private parties). Since the bonds are not taxed, they allow the borrower to obtain cash at less cost. This form of financing, then, is essentially a tax cut for the investment banks and corporations with the P3 contract. The U.S. Department of Transportation also routinely grants Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans to P3 developers. TIFIA loans provide companies with much cheaper interest rates and more flexible terms than anything available in the private capital markets—again because the public subsidizes them.

P3 companies, in short, are now virtually guaranteed returns on their investments. The shift away from tolls and the growing use of availability payments means P3 investors no longer need worry about traffic flows. Guaranteed lease payments, together with the low interest rates of federally subsidized loans and tax-exempt bonds they use to pay for construction, mean sure profits.

Meanwhile, P3 arrangements create a whole new set of risks for governments and the public. Complex contractual obligations, designed to protect private profits, hand over discretionary power to private companies while tying the hands of state officials. A recent report on P3s from the California Legislative Analyst Office notes that, by allowing private corporations to possess a financial interest in public infrastructure, the government incurs the “greater possibility for unforeseen challenges,” while its “flexibility” to respond to these challenges is limited.

Presidio Parkway:
California’s Latest P3 Experiment

Hochtief: a German construction company operating nine privatized toll roads in Greece, Germany, Austria, and Chile. Hochtief also has contracts to build and operate 123 schools in Canada, Germany, Ireland and the UK, and to build and operate 18 police stations in Canada, examples of what the company calls “social infrastructure” development. Meridiam Infrastructure: a French private equity fund owned and operated by the Credit Agricole bank. Meridiam has “equity” stakes in private highways and railways in Canada, France, the UK, Poland, Slovakia, and Finland. In the United States Meridiam is behind the P3 North Tarrant Expressway toll road in Texas and the Port of Miami Tunnel in Florida.

Investor equity: $44.5 million

Private activity bonds: $150 million

IFIA loan: $150 million

In 2010, the outgoing Republican administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger moved fast to select a project intended to prove the merits of P3 development. They chose Presidio Parkway, a 1.6 mile stretch of road running from the edge of downtown San Francisco to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

When it was first planned by the state as a traditional design-bid-build project, Presidio Parkway had a price tag of $499 million. By switching to a P3 contract, under which a private partner would finance, build, operate, and maintain the road for 30 years, the up-front construction cost dropped to roughly $173 million. However, the state would have to make availability payments of at least $30 million a year for 30 years upon the road’s completion 2015. These availability payments are estimated to total between $1.1 and $1.4 billion, but no one can say exactly what they will cost the state because the actual payments must be calculated from a complex formula measuring the contractor’s compliance with a variety of performance measures.

Two state agencies opposed conversion of Presidio Parkway into a P3 project. Staff members of the California Transportation Commission (CTC), the state’s ultimate authority on infrastructure matters, complained that use of availability payments “would effectively establish and endorse a means of committing state transportation funds that bypasses state programming procedures designed to ensure statewide funding accountability and equity.” California’s Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) also opposed privatization of the roadway on these grounds. Most recently, the LAO analyzed the project’s financing, concluding that Presidio Parkway is probably costing taxpayers an extra $140 million as a P3.

The Professional Engineers in California Government, a union of state employees, filed suit to block the use of availability payments to finance the Presidio Parkway, calling the project “wasteful,” but a state judge ruled against the union.

The Infrastructure Industrial Complex

Given the magnitude of profits to be made, powerful companies have invested considerable time and resources to push P3-authorization laws through more than 30 state legislatures. The handful of global construction companies, investment banks, and private equity firms that dominate the P3 market today spend millions each year lobbying lawmakers in key U.S. states. Besides shopping around bills to authorize highway privatization, they are now expanding into the privatization of public-building projects (like court buildings), parking garages and metering systems, and other so-called “social infrastructure.”

Elite law firms shop around legislation for P3 authorization in numerous state capitals. For example, the Los Angeles law firm Nossaman, LLP, straightforwardly explains on its web site that, “our PPP model legislation offers local, regional, and state lawmakers a valuable blueprint for authorizing legislation.” A big slice of Nossaman’s income comes from advising private investors and construction companies bidding on P3 contracts, so the firm has a lucrative material stake in passing P3 laws in as many states as possible. With support from major P3 contractors, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative, pro-corporate organization focused on pushing “model legislation” in statehouses nationwide, is now backing public-private partnerships. The group has endorsed a model state law, the “Establishing A Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Authority Act,” introduced by a vice president of the Australian investment bank Macquarie Capital. Macquarie is a corporate member of ALEC.

Some current government officials speak frequently at industry conferences to promote P3. For example, in October 2012, José Luís Moscovich of the San Francisco Transportation Authority lectured attendees of the Bond Buyer’s West Coast Finance Conference about the Presidio Parkway road, privatized under a 30-year contract with the German construction company Hochtief and French investment bank Meridiam. Former government officials are also involved in P3 promotion, both working for private companies and think tanks. For example, Dale Bonner, head of the state Business, Trans-portation, and Housing Agency under ex-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, now works as the principal partner of Cal-Infra Advisers, Inc., a lobbyist and consultancy that works with P3 developers seeking contracts. Bonner also promotes P3 policy from his position as a senior advisor at the Milken Institute. The Reason Foundation, arguably the intellectual home of P3 privatization, helped write California’s first P3 law in 1989. Since 2009, its vice president for policy has sat on California’s Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission, the state board tasked with identifying highway projects to privatize. The Reason Foundation has also been a corporate member of ALEC.

P3 investors have even created their own national trade association, the National Council for Public Private Partnerships (NCPPP), which has developed “tool kits” for state legislators. The NCPPP also circulates a press kit that attempts to dissuade reporters from thinking that “when the private sector is involved… citizens will eventually have to pay more for services” or from asking whether “private companies take short cuts in providing services in order to increase pro?ts.” Existing trade groups like the American Road and Transportation Builders Association have supported P3 privatization by hosting events such as the annual Public-Private Partnerships in Transportation Conference, a national gathering of major contractors, law firms, banks, and lawmakers.

The Public Interest

Despite the P3 industry’s influence, privatization of public infrastructure is anything but assured in the United States. The numerous problems with, and sordid history of privatization undermines public acceptance and official support. P3 procurement costs more. It generates as many new risks for the public as it supposedly eliminates. Additionally there is the matter of institutional inertia; state and local transportation agencies have procured infrastructure through the public design-bid-build method for over a century now. Shifting to the P3 model requires complex changes in the law and transformations of government procedures, as well as whole new skill sets for state officials, none of which simply happens without enormous time and effort to change the culture of government. P3 faces resistance for these and other reasons.

In spite of these barriers, privatization’s advocates have scored significant victories in Texas, Virginia, Florida, Illinois, and most recently California. In California, the Professional Engineers in California Government, a union of state engineers, sued to block conversion of the half-billion dollar Presidio Parkway into a billion-plus dollar P3 project. Even though the union’s legal argument was echoed by two state agencies, which doubted that California’s 2009 P3 law authorizes the use of availability payments, a judge ruled against the union, and allowed the project to proceed.

California’s Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) criticized transportation officials who approved Presidio Parkway’s P3 conversion, saying in a November 2012 report that privatization of the road likely cost taxpayers an extra $140 million, but this analysis went virtually unreported in regional newspapers. Besides the union and the largely toothless LAO, there has been no other opposition from the public or watchdog groups. As California officials plan to privatize as many as four more freeways in the Los Angeles area, there is little sign of organized resistance to these plans.

The Ohio Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) recently issued a study critical of plans to privatize the Ohio Turnpike, a 241-mile publicly owned and operated toll road, debunking the rationale that doing so would generate dollars to immediately invest in other state roadways. PIRG researchers are posing questions that similarly confront privatization plans in other states: If cost-savings measures can generate savings, why can’t the state introduce the same measures a private operator would? How might a contract with a private operator constrain the state’s ability improve parallel public roadways? What downsides might there be if motorists seeking to avoid the increased tolls end up crowding onto nearby roadways?

For whatever reason, though, organized opposition to public-private partnerships across state lines and on a national level, confronting the national infrastructure-industrial complex that P3 proponents have assembled, does not exist today. Opposition to privatization of infrastructure in the United States is piecemeal and inconsistent, so that P3 projects often proceed without any critical analysis.

Perhaps this is because of the relatively early and small scale of P3 projects, with only an estimated 377 ever completed in the United States, compared to tens of thousands of traditionally financed roads. Only a tiny fraction of transportation infrastructure in the U.S. has ever been handed over to private investors. The complexity of P3 deals may also explain the relative lack of opposition: contracts involve multiple bank creditors, private-equity investors, multiple legal and technical advisers, hundreds of pages of binding obligations, and strange formulas determining payments due over the term of a concession.

Finally, many officials and the public may be sold, at least partially, on the notion that the solution to government budget shortfalls is to tap private capital to build infrastructure. Whatever the reason may be, as various states move ahead with privatization plans for highways and other infrastructure, controversies are likely to erupt over the financial terms, new risks to the public, and the fact that P3s do not actually alleviate budget constraints, and may indeed exacerbate them.

DARWIN BONDGRAHAM is a sociologist and journalist who writes about political economy. He lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area and blogs at

SOURCES: California Department of Transportation, “State Route 91 (91 Express Lanes)” (; Jennifer Gress, “Public-private partnerships (PPPs): just compensation,” Analysis of SB 528, California State Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, May 12, 2009; Congressional Budget Office, “Using Public-Private Partnerships to Carry Out Highway Projects,” January 9, 2012 (; California Legislative Analyst Office, “Maximizing State Benefits from Public Private Partnerships,” November 8, 2012 (; “Relating to Public-Private Partnerships for Public Infrastructure,” model legislation, Nossaman LLP, 2009 (; Reason Foundation, “Reason Foundation Experts: Adrian Moore” (; National Council for Public Private Partnerships, “A Resource on Public Private Partnerships: Press Kit for the National Council for Public Private Partnerships” (; Darwin BondGraham, “Global Corporate Powerhouses Ramp Up to Privatize California’s Roadways,” Sacramento News & Review, November 8, 2012 (; Istrate, Emilia and Robert Puentes, “Moving Forward on Public Private Partnerships,” Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation, December, 2012.

Developing forestland quickly damages stream life, USGS study finds

By Scott Learn, The Oregonian
on November 15, 2012 at 3:16 PM, updated November 15, 2012 at 3:17 PM


Development in western Oregon and southwest Washington has largely swapped forests for homes, driving down water quality and quickly killing off some species of mayflies and other sensitive insects that rely on relatively pristine streams, a new study from the U.S. Geological Survey finds.

USGS researchers examined nine broad urban regions across the United States for their study, released today. In the Northwest, they tapped into 28 measuring stations from Cottage Grove, south of Eugene, to Battle Ground, north of Vancouver, covering the Willamette Valley and the Portland region.

Forests start off with a greater diversity of species and better water quality than agricultural lands, said USGS scientist and study co-author James F. Coles. So regions that focus development on former forest land, including western Oregon, saw the sharpest quality declines, Coles said.

Paving over forestland denudes streamsides and increases runoff from storms. More rainwater gushes into streams, carrying pesticides, fertilizer and sediment and increasing water temperatures, all threats to aquatic life.

“It’s not one thing or the other,” Coles said. “It’s temperature, flashing of streams and washing off of contaminants.”

The Oregon and Massachusetts study areas saw the biggest decline in “sensitive invertebrate species,” the study found, including mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies, insects familiar to fishermen and long used as indicators of stream health. They decline sharply even in the initial stages of urban development, the researchers said.

The study highlights the need for forest conservation, the researchers said. Other solutions, many being pursued in the Northwest, include planting trees, installing pervious pavement and increasing buffer zones around streams.


Columbia River red algae could counter global warming effects

By Lynne Terry, The Oregonian
October 17, 2012 at 12:04 PM, updated October 23, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Red algea in Columbia River

 Algae turn the Columbia River at the Astoria-Megler Bridge crimson in late summer in 2008. Scientists from Oregon Health & Sciences University, Oregon State University and the University of Washington are studying the algae, trying to understand why they bloom and how they function in the ecosystem. Alex Derr/Center for Coastal Margin Observation & Prediction Scientists study red algae in Columbia Rivergallery (11 photos)

ASTORIA — They appear suddenly in mid- to late summer, flushed by tides into the mouth of the Columbia River. Soaking up the warm sun, they multiply like crazy. Sometimes crimson, sometimes the deep red of a hearty cabernet, they paint dramatic swirls of color in the estuary between Oregon and Washington.

No one knows exactly when these algae first swarmed into the waterway. But this year they appeared to be more abundant than ever, and they stuck around, showing up in early September and staying through last week.

“This year it seems to have persisted for quite a long time,” said Peter Zuber,  lead investigator of a study on the algae at the Portland-based Center for Coastal Margin Observation & Prediction.

The algae stun visitors, stymie fishermen and occasionally worry residents, who fear they’re creating a toxic red tide harmful to fish.

But for scientists trying to unravel their secrets, they’re an enigma. When did they first show up in force and why do they return annually? How can they survive the thrashing of ocean waters that sweep into the estuary? What eats them, if anything? What happens when they die? What role do they play in the coastal ecosystem?

What researchers do know is that these single-cell organisms are not toxic and may even be an environmental blessing, acting as a kind of counterweight to negative forces of climate change by spewing oxygen into depleted waters.

Against the braying of sea lions lounging on piers, the dark waters off Astoria glistened in the late morning sun on a recent Wednesday. Pelicans swooped for fish, and a lone seal bobbed in the currents as two scientists launched a torpedo-like device into the north channel of the Columbia.
The 4-foot-long black, white and yellow vehicle with an orange fin slipped into the water, whirred, then whizzed into the deep. Underwater, it searched a grid pattern marked by pinging beacons. The device amassed data on everything from currents, the temperature and salinity of the water to the concentration of oxygen and pigments. The data will help paint a picture of the density of the algae throughout the estuary.

Though the algae form thickets, they’re not easy to track. They dance vertically and swim rapidly. Never stationary, they form patches that hover and streak through the water.

“This is an extremely complex system that we’re trying to understand,” said Craig McNeil, senior oceanographer at the University of Washington and an investigator on the algae project.

By studying the algae, researchers eventually hope to gain a glimpse of how global warming might affect coastal waters so crucial to the food supply, livelihoods and recreation.

The algae — Mesodinium rubrum —  are not a new phenomenon. They’ve been sighted off the coast of British Columbia, Chile, Peru, Britain and Denmark. But they’ve not drawn bundles of research dollars, partly because they’re not toxic and pose no obvious threat.

“Trying to get money to study them is not straightforward,” said Tawnya Peterson, a scientist with the Center for Coastal Margin Observation & Prediction, based at Oregon Health & Science University and including researchers from UW and Oregon State University.

Mostly they’ve been seen as a curiosity, though they could be much more than that.

Unlike other phytoplankton, they cannot absorb carbon dioxide or churn out oxygen on their own. They eat other algae and steal their pigments or chloroplasts, which are essential to photosynthesis.

“It’s kind of like farming,” Peterson said.

This mechanism allows them to multiply, or bloom, at an amazing rate. When they’re in full bloom, they infuse the water with dissolved oxygen that salmon, for example, need to survive.

They’re speed champions, traveling great distances by jumping through the water like aquatic fleas. They’re also an attractive species viewed through a microscope, according to Rachel Golda, a graduate student at OHSU who’s studying the algae under Peterson and another scientist at the center.

“They’re cute,” Golda said. “They look like raspberries wearing hula skirts.”

GS.41ALGAE24-02.jpg Pam Martin, The Oregonian

Not everyone shares Golda’s fascination. Ken Rieck,  75, has been fishing in the Columbia since 1968. He first noticed the red algae about a decade ago. He said the red water has made fishing more difficult.

“I hate it,” he said. “When you troll through it, you can’t catch any salmon.”

He steers around a bloom when he can. Divers inspecting the Astoria-Megler Bridge avoid the algae as well.

“We thought it was harmful, so we’ve been avoiding it,” said Rick Shorb,  an underwater operations engineer for the Oregon Department of Transportation. “It just looks like blood in the water. It makes visibility so bad we can’t see anything.”

Surfers and kayakers have observed the bloom, and residents have talked about it. Spencer Gotter,  head brewer at Fort George Brewery, decided to play homage to the algae with a special high-octane blend: Red Tide Imperial Ale. It was sold on tap this year next to Flanders Nut Red, Roscoe IPA, Quit Wit and other brews.

Packing a punch, it’s served in a brandy snifter to heighten its citrus aroma.

“It’s got an 8.5 percent alcohol content and it’s chock full of Centennial hops — they’re delicious,” said Gotter, who created the red tide ale last August.

The brew is a hit with customers, even if the algae blooms are not. Shannon Meeker,  a server at the brewery, said some worry about eating oysters when the Columbia turns red.

“People do make a correlation between the red algae in the river and shellfish,” she said. “They think it’s a red tide.”
Most people associate red tides with fish kills in places like the Gulf of Mexico, where one species of algae releases toxins that paralyze the central nervous system of fish. Other algae have created dead zones off the coast of Oregon. When those algae die, they increase carbon dioxide levels and lower the amount of oxygen.

But Mesodinium rubrum — the algae staining the Columbia — have the opposite effect: They take in carbon dioxide and spew out oxygen.

Curtis Roegner,  a scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the bloom appears to offset low oxygen levels in the Columbia caused by waters washed in from the ocean.

“When we have the bloom, it looks like it can ameliorate this effect,” Roegner said.

That’s good for harvests of fish and shellfish, which are threatened by reduced levels of oxygen. Those creatures are also threatened by ocean acidification associated with rising levels of carbon dioxide from global warming. Oyster larvae, for example, can’t grow shells in water with a low pH.

“It’s a huge worry,” said Golda, the graduate student. She’s working on a project looking at a possible link between the algae and ocean acidification. She suspects the algae thrive in more acidic water.

It could be years, even decades before scientists have a solid understanding of these simple yet perplexing organisms. Although they are not going to halt global warming, they may play a part on a micro scale, Golda said.

“It’s not necessarily going to turn the shellfish industry around,” Golda said, “but it’s a hope.”