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US/Canadian Greens blast secretive NAFTA-Plus trade-security deal

National Green parties join forces to fight North American Union

• Canadian and US Greens campaign against ‘Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America’ and plan cross-border Counter Summit when heads of state of Canada, US, and Mexico meet in Montebello, Quebec, August 20.

• Secretive deal between Prime Minister Harper, President Bush and President Calderón is a blueprint to further integrate the three countries’ trade, economic, energy, defence and security policies, and which is being implemented undemocratically by bureaucratic committees with no public oversight.

• During one-day Counter Summit, Greens from the US and Canada will discuss the history, mechanics, and implications of the Security and Prosperity Partnership, and plan strategies for opposition

Green Party leaders in Canada and the US are alerting their respective parties and the public about the ‘Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America’ (SPP), a secretive deal between President Bush (US), Prime Minister Harper (Canada), and President Calderón (Mexico).

Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May stated, “The SPP is integrating the military, security, trade, economic, regulatory, and foreign polices of Canada, the US, and Mexico without public input or Parliamentary or Congressional scrutiny. The threat of widespread surveillance of citizens, greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands development and ‘super-corridors,’ increased fossil fuel dependence, privatization of water, erosion of food safety and environmental regulations, and expanded corporate power at the expense of economic stability for working people — these are some of the reasons we oppose the SPP.”

North American Green Parties are calling for transnational opposition, beginning with a ‘Counter Summit’ teach-in and strategy session August 20 in Ottawa to coincide with a meeting of the leaders of Canada, the US, and Mexico at the third annual summit in Montebello in nearby Quebec. The Green Party of the United States has endorsed the Counter Summit and will send representatives. Greens will also participate in civil society opposition to the Montebello Summit, with two days of activities planned for August 19 and 20.

Dr. Janet M. Eaton, International Trade Critic with the Green Party of Canada, who spoke about the SPP at the annual meeting of the Green Party of the United States in Reading, Pennsylvania, in July, said:

“The SPP, also called ‘NAFTA-Plus’ within a ‘security trumps all’ framework, is the next big step in moving from a free trade agreement to a customs union and some suggest common market and eventually a union like the European Union.”

“But we should heed the words of the Secretary General of the European Greens, Juan Behrand, who said that the process for North American integration does not resemble the democratic and consultative European Union model.”

Eaton said that the so-called North American Partnership is fraught with profound implications for sovereignty and Constitutional and Charter rights.

Greens dispute claims by NAFTA proponents that NAFTA has proved successful and that the SPP is the logical and necessary next step. Green Parties have called for withdrawal from and renegotiation of NAFTA, and for enactment of ‘fair trade’ policies where economic, social and ecological justice take precedence over corporate profit and privilege and the short term economic demands of investors.

“”Security and Prosperity are attractive goals. The use of these words disguises that the Harper-Bush agenda undermines true security by imperiling global eco-systems, revving climate change into over-drive, and ignoring the needs to protect true peace and prosperity through flourishing, open democratic process. The ‘Security and Prosperity Partnership’ scheme deserves widespread public exposure and opposition,” said Elizabeth May.

Greens warn of numerous dangers if SPP remains unchallenged, including:

  • Super-corridors lined with oil, gas, and water pipelines, which will carve up arable land, damage biodiversity across North America, and increase fossil fuel consumption and emission of greenhouse gases.
  • Military and security integration of the US, Canada, and Mexico, with an expansion of surveillance over private citizens and forced forced subordination of Canada and Mexico to imperial US military goals.
  • Privatization and unconstrained exploitation of natural resources for the benefit of US-based corporations, e.g., Mexico’s state-owned oil industry and Canadian watersheds.
  • Erosion of food safety standards
  • Empowerment of the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC), which gives corporate leaders access to government information and resources while denying the latter to civil society leaders.

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