Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
With President Obama expected tomorrow for the North American Leaders’ Summit in Guadalajara, Mexico, a coalition of American legislators and activists took a message to the Mexican media, denouncing economic partnerships that would undermine national sovereignty and blasting Obama’s failure to keep his promises on transparency and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Howard Phillips, chairman of The Conservative Caucus and head of the Coalition to Block the North American Union, spoke to Mexican print, television and radio media about the summit, which was known in previous years as the North American Security and Prosperity Partnership, or SPP.
“They’re talking more and more about economic integration, which is also what preceded the creation of the European Union, incrementally,” Phillips told WND. “We made the point that one of the real issues is accountability. Already there are more than 20 SPP working groups and more and more decisions are being turned over to unelected bureaucrats, without any review by the legislatures of Mexico, Canada or the U.S.”
Phillips also released statements from current U.S. Rep. Walter Jones Jr., R-N.C., and former congressmen Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., and Virgil H. Goode Jr, R-Va., warning Obama that this meeting of the American, Mexican and Canadian heads of state is no time to renew talks of a North American Union.
“My eastern North Carolina constituents are troubled by our exploding trade deficit, our weakly defended borders and the erosion of our national sovereignty,” Rep. Jones said in a statement prepared for the press conference. “As a result, many of them have expressed their concerns about our nation’s leadership role in the SPP.”
“Many SPP working group meetings are held in secret, and the public, the press and members of Congress have no opportunity to participate or conduct oversight,” Jones said. “The SPP also appears to cast aside America’s sovereignty and takes another step towards combining the United States, Mexico and Canada into a single EU-style North American super state.”
He concluded, “While the American people and Congress understand the importance of promoting good relations with our neighbors, these concerns will only intensify if pursuit of the SPP continues out of public view and without congressional oversight or approval.”
Phillips told WND the press conference preceding the president’s arrival in Guadalajara was well attended.
“We had an extraordinarily good turnout by the media, including a television station, which I’m told by our interpreter, is the most widely viewed television station in all of Latin America,” Phillips said. “So we’re very pleased with the turnout.”
At the press conference, Phillips distributed releases from several prominent Americans:
“Throughout our nation, the American people have great appreciation and affection for our great neighbors, Mexico and Canada,” said Former U.S. Treasurer Bay Buchanan in a statement, “however they are unified in their opposition to any form of a ‘North American Union’ or greater integration of the three nations.”
Buchanan argued that under a North American Union, “All citizens of Mexico and Canada will by legal right be able to move to the United States, causing a massive wave of immigration which will further bankrupt our nation. Yet such a policy would also devastate our friends in Mexico, for they would suffer even greater loss of the manpower, finances and intellectual capital needed to make Mexico’s strong and prosperous.
“The members and supporters of The American Cause hereby call on President Obama to renounce at the North American Leaders Summit in Guadalajara the failed and destructive Bush policy of moving the United States, Mexico and Canada towards any sort of union or integration. The sovereignty of the United States is to be preserved, protected and defended at all times; and never ever be thrown on the chopping block as a point of negotiation with foreign leaders.”
“The 2009 meeting of the three heads of state in Guadalajara, Mexico, should arouse the interest and concern of Mexican citizens as well as Americans and Canadians,” said former Rep. Tom Tancredo in his statement. “We can all applaud the benefits of expanded commerce and trade without supporting an integration of legal codes, regulatory standards and financial institutions. Ambitious goals of economic integration on the European model are totally unrealistic and are in truth a Trojan horse for a political agenda that has little to do with economic progress for Americans, Mexicans or Canadians.”
“We can debate the best means of improving legitimate trade and commerce,” Tancredo said, “but there is no place to debate the abandonment of sovereignty that will be required to implement the NAU.”
Phillips also released statements by John F. McManus, president of The John Birch Society, and Tom DeWeese, founder and president of the American Policy Center. Cathie Adams, president of the Texas Eagle Forum, was also on hand in Guadalajara to deliver her own statement.
“Former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Jim Jones said agreement on a grand vision by President Obama, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to promote better ‘economic integration’ would help the region become a major competitor in the world economy,” Phillips said at the press conference. “Although Ambassador Jones discounted the prospect of a North American Union being similar to the European Union economic model, any form of heightened economic integration would be like the proverbial camel’s nose in the tent, which would undermine the independence and self-determination of Canada and Mexico, even as it would make American taxpayers subject to further budgetary profligacy.”
WND has previously reported that Robert A. Pastor, the American University professor who for more than a decade has been a major proponent of building a North American Community, has declared the SPP “is dead,” largely due to efforts to expose the SPP’s North American integration agenda.
WND has also reported that President Obama has actively backtracked on his campaign promises to renegotiate NAFTA in order to get provisions more favorable to U.S. workers and U.S. jobs.
During the presidential campaign, Obama was forced to fire from his campaign an important economic adviser. Austan Goolsbee, an economics professor at the University of Chicago business school, was dismissed after reporters learned he had traveled to Canada to reassure Canadians that Obama’s campaign promises to renegotiate NAFTA were just campaign rhetoric.
In the Ohio and Pennsylvania Democratic Party primaries, candidate Obama had pledged to renegotiate NAFTA as part of his appeal to Ohio and Pennsylvania workers who have lost manufacturing jobs under the free trade agreements negotiated by Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.
Now, Goolsbee is back in the White House, having taken a leave of absence from the University of Chicago. Obama appointed him to serve as chief economist and staff director of the newly created Presidential Economic Recovery Advisory Board, chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volker.
Obama also appointed Goolsbee to the Council of Economic Advisors, or CEA, which is charged with assisting in the development of White House economic policy.