A new poll by the American Policy Center has revealed that the lack of widespread opposition to the agenda of the Security and Prosperity Partnership, announced in 2005 by President Bush and his counterparts from Mexico and Canada, is because more than half of the American residents polled hadn’t heard of it.
But when they did, their voices were clear, with overwhelming majorities opposing the concept, plans and ideas.
The poll was done by the APC, a grass-roots activist group in Washington that asked a series of questions about the SPP, the Trans Texas Corridor transportation project and other issues.
“While President Bush and his counterparts in Mexico and Canada continue to deny that the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) is the beginning of a North American Union, Americans around the nation are expressing their growing opposition to the scheme,” the center said in introducing its poll results.
The poll of one million American households revealed that 58 percent of the households contacted had not heard of the SPP.
“It is important to note that APC did not select households that might represent specific ideological positions,” the group said. “The chosen households represented neither conservative nor liberal positions. Instead the recipients were a wide [variety] of Americans who live in the direct path of the proposed Trans Texas/NAFTA Corridor, from Texas to Minnesota.”
The center said the first question was whether the residents had heard of the SPP, and 58 percent said they had not.
But the rest of the results were lopsided. The center said 95 percent of those responding opposed the concept that “private corporations should have the power to enforce trade policy that may adversely affect our national sovereignty and independence.”
That related to the public-private partnerships being established across the U.S., from foreign corporations running highways and airports in Illinois to Spanish investors building a new transportation corridor across Texas.
“Chapter 11 of the NAFTA Agreement states that disputes over NAFTA-related issues will be heard in NAFTA courts superseding U.S. local, state and federal courts….” the third question noted, and 91 percent of the respondents indicated that would threaten U.S. sovereignty.
A total of 87 percent said they did not believe it would enhance U.S. security by expanding the nation’s security perimeter to include Canada and Mexico, and 95 percent opposed a Mexico truck program instituted by federal administrators.
That program set up by the Bush administration allows Mexican trucks directly on U.S. highways, even though the 2008 omnibus spending bill “was clearly written and designed to put the brakes on the current pilot program,” according to sponsor Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.
A total of 92 percent said they opposed a common North American currency such as the “amero.”
“Though denied by the Bush Administration, there has been much discussion in economic and academic circles about the creation of a North American currency much like the euro,” the center, which has compiled an information sheet about the plans, said. “In October 2007 during an appearance on the Larry King Show on CNN, former Mexican President Vicente Fox answered in the affirmative when King asked him about the creation of a united currency.”
Ninety-five percent said public hearings and debate should be held before the plans move further forward.
“To date, there has been no congressional legislation, no congressional hearings and no congressional oversight concerning the establishment or operation of the SPP,” the center said. “No federal money has been officially allocated by Congress. No official authority has been provided for the creation of the SPP.”
The opposition figure was even higher – 97 percent – when surveyors asked: “Should the Bush administration be allowed to move forward with its plans to create a “North American Community’ without congressional approval?
A still-high 88 percent opposed the suggestion that the “United States should be ‘harmonized’ or merged into a union with Mexico or Canada,” the survey said.
“Finally, responders were asked to provide their own comments and thoughts on the SPP. The word most often used was ‘treason.’ Another said, ‘I want no part of the social health care of Canada and I do not want to incorporate Mexico’s turmoil and poverty into our United States,” the center said.
“Yet,” said Tom DeWeese, president of the APC, “as the Texas Department of Transportation signs an agreement with the Spanish company Cintra containing no-compete clauses and guaranteed returns; as the Kansas City council loans $2.5 million to build the inland truck port called KC Smart Port; as the 20 SPP working groups continue to write policy; as the Mexican trucks roll over our borders; as high level meetings go on – the Bush administration dares to deny that ANYTHING is happening. Why? The responses to APC’s survey show why. When Americans understand the truth, they say NO in resounding numbers.”
The government’s original statement announcing the “partnership” said it would
“increase the security, prosperity, and quality of life of our citizens. This work will be based on the principle that our security and prosperity are mutually dependent and complementary, and will reflect our shared belief in freedom, economic opportunity, and strong democratic values and institutions.”
But the SPP organization itself has taken the unusual step for a government agency of posting on its website a multi-page “debunking” of “myths.”
For example, the document says the SPP is not even an agreement, but is a “dialogue,” and it “does not attempt to modify our sovereignty or currency.”
Further, it says the SPP updates and consults with members of Congress, although there is no mention of a congressional authorization or oversight.
It does affirm that the SPP is a White House-driven initiative but denies having a “secret plan” to build a NAFTA superhighway. Critics say it’s just called the Trans-Texas Corridor.