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A 1998 document which WND has obtained shows the North American SuperCorridor Coalition, or NASCO, was originally named the North American Superhighway Coalition.
The document plays into an emerging debate in which a number of critics, including President Bush, want to deny that a NAFTA “Superhighway” exists.
Christopher Hayes, writing in the Aug. 27 edition of the Nation claimed that, “There is no such thing as a proposed NAFTA Superhighway.”
President Bush at the third summit meeting of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America in Montebello, Quebec, on Aug. 21, answered a question from a reporter at Fox News that NAFTA Superhighways were part of a “conspiracy theory.”
The document involves two 1998 letters: one, a June 10, 1998, letter written to Tiffany Newsom, executive director of NASCO, by Francisco J. Conde, editor and publisher of the Conde Report on U.S.-Mexico Relations; and the second, a June 10, 1998 letter written by Newsom to consultants at David A. Dean & Associates.
Conde addresses NASCO as North America’s Superhighway Coalition and compliments Newsom and NASCO for supporting the Interstate Highway 35 Corridor Coalition consulting team at David A. Dean & Associates, P.C. and Dean International, Inc.
Newsom’s letter notes the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, or TEA-21, was signed into law by President Clinton June 9, 1998.
Newsom writes, “This bill contains for the first time in history a category and funding for trade corridors and border programs.”
She continues, “The I-35 corridor is the strongest and most organized of the corridor initiatives so, if we play our cards right, we stand to get a part of the $700 million.”
NASCO’s original homepage in June 2006 opened with a map highlighting the I-35 corridor from Mexico to Canada.
Newsom was referring to a section of TEA-21 devoted to a new National Corridor Planning and Development program, identifying highway corridors that were specifically identified with international trade and a Coordinated Border Infrastructure program designed “to improve the safe and efficient movement of people and goods at or across the U.S./Canadian and U.S./Mexican borders.”
A desire to obtain funds under TEA-21’s corridor initiative may have been responsible for changing NASCO’s name from North America’s Superhighway Coalition to North America’s SuperCorridor Coalition.
Interestingly, combining “SuperCorridor” into one word allowed preserving the correspondence required to continue using “NASCO” as the acronym for the newly renamed organization.
A close reading of NASCO’s website shows NASCO does not deny that a NAFTA Superhighway exists.
NASCO insists on identifying the NAFTA Superhighway with the existing I-35, denying only that plans exist to build a new NAFTA Superhighway.
As WND has previously reported, this point is made clear by a sentence on the NASCO website which states, “There are no plans to build a new NAFTA Superhighway – it exists today as I-35.”
Yet, NASCO has repeatedly refused to repudiate the plans of the Texas Department of Transportation to build the Trans-Texas Corridor as a new four-football-fields wide superhighway corridor parallel to the existing I-35.
An archived version of the NASCO website going back to Oct. 24, 2005, documents that NASCO played a role in lobbying for the creation of the National Corridor & Planning Development program and the Coordinated Border Infrastructure program when TEA-21 was being passed.
“We have assisted in the lobbying effort to bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the NASCO I-35 Corridor, resulting in High Priority Status for I-35 in 1995 under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficacy Act (ISTEA),” the 2005 NASCO website noted. “In addition, we successfully assisted in lobbying for the creation of two new categories under the Transportation Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21) – the National Corridor Planning & Development Program and the Coordinated Border Infrastructure Program.”
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