In a cover story for the current Nation magazine, Christopher Hayes is the latest to join a growing list of those who deny a NAFTA Superhighway exists.
“There is no such thing as a proposed NAFTA Superhighway,” Hayes declares.
The remainder of the article, however, shows how the Trans Texas Corridor under construction parallel to Interstate 35 is specifically designed to accommodate the steadily growing volume of NAFTA and World Trade Organization traffic pouring into Texas from China and the Far East through Mexican ports on the Pacific such as Manzanillo and L?zaro C?rdenas.
Like Hayes, the the Dallas-based trade group North America’s SuperCorridor Coalition, Inc., or NASCO, adamantly denies the superhighway.
But Hayes doesn’t mention the NAFTA Superhighway Coalition, a trade group formed July 23, 1997, to promote continental highway development in conjunction with the Ambassador Bridge.
Hayes also does not refer to a study of I-35 conducted in 1998 by the Federal Highway Administration under the premise the interstate “carries a greater percentage of trade among the NAFTA partners than any other U.S. Interstate Highway.”
The executive summary of the completed 1998 study noted, “Since January 1, 1994, when NAFTA went into effect, the heartland of America has become an increasingly important thoroughfare for trade among the United States, Mexico and Canada. Interstate 35 is the only interstate highway connecting Mexico, the U.S. and Canada through the heartland, and it carries a greater percentage of U.S.-Mexico trade among the NAFTA partners than any other U.S. interstate highway.”
The study referred throughout to the “I-35 Trade Corridor” as the primary focus of its analysis.
Hayes article accepts NASCO’s claim that a “North American Super Corridor” can be distinguished from a “NAFTA Superhighway.”
Yet, as WND reported, even NASCO has sharpened its denial to arguing only that there are no plans to build a new NAFTA Superhighway.
On its website, NASCO proclaims, “There are no plans to build a new NAFTA Superhighway – it exists today as I-35.”
Yet, NASCO has refused to acknowledge repeated requests by WND to reconcile its stance with the plans of the Texas Department of Transportation, or TxDOT, to build a new four-football-fields wide corridor parallel to I-35 from Laredo, Texas, in the south, to the Texas border with Oklahoma, south of Oklahoma City.
TxDOT, a NASCO member, plans this year to begin building the first segment of TTC-35, having signed a Comprehensive Development Agreement with Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A., the Spanish investment consortium financing the new toll road.
NASCO has refused to allow WND Books permission to publish the organization’s original webpage in Jerome Corsi’s “The Late Great U.S.A.: The Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada.”
In an April 27 letter, Tiffany Melvin, NASCO’s executive director, wrote WND Books, charging, “Mr. Corsi has attempted to convince the public that there is a genuine, active governmental conspiracy to merge the sovereign nations of Mexico, the United States and Canada into a North American Union; to create a North American currency called the ‘amero’; to build a gigantic ‘NAFTA Superhighway’ through the heart of North America; and to undermine the sovereignty and strength of American governmental institutions. All these claims are baseless.”
Melvin’s letter, however, did not produce any evidence or arguments that the claims were baseless.
Further, as WND reported, in a July 21, 2006, internal e-mail obtained by WND under a Missouri Sunshine Law request, Melvin cautions “NASCO friends and members” that, “We have to stay away from ‘SuperCorridor’ because it is a very bad, hot button right now.”
NASCO’s multiple homepage remake are fully archived on Internet sites such as the “Way Back Machine.” When first writing about NASCO, WND displayed the original homepage, which in June 2006 opened with a map highlighting the I-35 corridor from Mexico to Canada.
By September 2006, in an apparent makeover of the homepage designed to defuse criticism, NASCO attempted to minimize the impact of the I-35 map on the organization’s homepage.
This second version of the NASCO homepage showed the continental route of the I-35, 29, and 94 NASCO super corridor in muted pastel tones of beige and soft brown. The routes into Canada did not extend east to Montreal and west to Vancouver, as initially, but ended in arrows headed toward central Canada through Winnipeg.
In what appears to be the third major revamping of the NASCO website since WND first began writing 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 the I-35, but without any map displaying a continental I-35 super corridor linking Mexico and Canada.
According to Freedom of Information Act documents obtained by WND, 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.
Increasingly, members of Congress are addressing the issue.
WND 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 368-153. The bill has been sent to the Senate with Hunter’s amendment included.
WND reported investment bankers and certain politicians have begun advancing the argument in Oklahoma that extending TTC-35 north into the state would be a desirable move to promote economic development.