NEW YORK – President Obama has revived George W. Bush’s Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America effort with a grandiose trade plan that transcends the continent to encompass both the Atlantic and Pacific spheres.
In his State of the Union address Feb. 12, Obama announced a two-ocean, globalist free-trade agenda.
“To boost American exports, support American jobs and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership,” he said. “And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.”
For the first time, a decision by the U.S. Trade Representative within the White House to expand negotiations to create a free trade zone with Pacific Rim countries was made public, along with a similar initiative with EU countries.
Despite having demonized Republican challenger Mitt Romney as a "jobs outsourcer," Obama in his SOTU address did not hesitate to sell the new globalist alliances to Congress and the American people as "partnerships" that would expand U.S. exports.
It's the same premise all previous administrations have used to sell free-trade agreements such as NAFTA.
Remarkably, the Trans-Pacific negotiations have received almost no publicity in establishment media, though they have concluded 15 rounds. Eleven nations are participating, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.
The low-profile advancement of the TPP, now supplemented by the addition of the TAP, appears to have been accomplished by design.
The Obama administration is aware that under George W. Bush, concerns from the right about sovereignty and the left about infringement of U.S. environmental laws – with both sides fearing outsourcing of jobs – blocked greater North American political integration under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. Expansion of NAFTA was halted and, later, the inclusion of South America under the Free Trade Act of the Americas.
Obama's open discussion of the two-oceans TPP and TAP free trade agendas during his recent SOTU attests to the persistence of globalists.
The president has found a way to revive the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP, through pushing the Trans-Pacific TPP agenda.
On March 23, 2005, at their summit meeting in Waco, Texas, President Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin issued a joint statement announcing the creation of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.
With the announcement, the U.S., Mexico and Canada entered into an unprecedented arrangement in which bureaucrats from the three nations would be assigned to shadow government "working groups" charged with "integrating" and "harmonizing" administrative law and regulatory structures of the three nations in a broad range of public policy areas.
While much of the agreement was announced in Waco, Texas, there was virtually no explanation of whey the trilateral bureaucratic behind-the-scenes work was being initiated. Moreover, nothing was said about creating a North American Community or advancing toward a North American Union.
By the end of the Bush administration, the SPP meetings were dropped and the name was changed. All future tri-lateral meetings with Mexico and Canada were subsequently billed under the less threatening designation of "North American Leaders Summit Meetings."
So far, the Obama administration has pursued the TPP not under the auspices of the Department of State, but through the offices of U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
On June 16, 2012, in a notice published on the U.S. Trade Representative website, Ambassador Kirk announced that Mexico had decided to join the TPP negotiations.
"We are delighted to invite Mexico, our neighbor and second largest export market, to join the TPP negotiations," said Kirk. "Mexico's interest in the TPP reflects its recognition that the TPP presents the most promising pathway to boosting trade across the Asia Pacific and to encouraging regional trade integration. We look forward to continuing consultations with the Congress and domestic stakeholders as we move forward."
Three days later, on June 19, 2012, with similar language, the USTR announced Canada had decided to join the TPP negotiations:
"Inviting Canada to join the TPP negotiations presents a unique opportunity for the United States to build upon this already dynamic trading relationship. Through TPP, we are bringing the relationship with our largest trading partner into the 21st century," said Kirk. "We look forward to continuing consultations with the Congress and domestic stakeholders regarding Canada's entry into the TPP as we move closer to a broad-based, high-standard trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region."
To avoid mistakes made with the SPP, the USTR this time notified Congress of the intent to include both Mexico and Canada in the TPP negotiations, triggering a 90-day consultation period with Congress. A notice was published in the Federal Register seeking public comments.
By including Mexico and Canada, the U.S. government moved to revive the SPP union of North American nations in the larger regional context of a Pacific Rim union of nations.
The Trans-Atlantic Partnership
A Feb. 13 White House press release on the USTR website announced the Atlantic negotiations.
We, the leaders of the United States and the European Union, are pleased to announce that, based on recommendations from the U.S. – EU High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth co-chaired by United States Trade Representative Kirk and European Trade Commissioner De Gucht, the United States and European Union will each initiate the internal procedures necessary to launch negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
The announcement suggests the new TAP stems from "working group" formed through U.S.-EU integration efforts begun long before Obama took office in 2008.
On May 8, 2007, WND reported President George W. Bush signed an agreement creating a "permanent body" that commits the U.S. to "deeper transatlantic economic integration," without ratification by the Senate as a treaty or passage by Congress as a law.
On April 30, 2007, a "Transatlantic Economic Integration" agreement between the U.S. and the European Union was signed at the White House by Bush; Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, the current president of the European Council; and José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission.
The Transatlantic Economic Council created by the agreement was tasked with creating regulatory convergence between the U.S. and the EU on some 40 different public policy areas, including intellectual property rights, developing security standards for international trade, getting U.S. GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) recognized in Europe, developing innovation and technology in health industries, implementing RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technologies, developing a science-based plan on bio-based products and establishing a "regular dialogue" to address obstacles to investment.
The April 2007 summit also involved coordinating the Transatlantic Economic Council with the work of the Transatlantic Policy Network, or TPN – a non-governmental organization headquartered in Washington and Brussels, chaired in 2007 by former Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah. It dates back to December 1995, when the United States and the EU signed what was then known as the "New Transatlantic Agenda," a protocol contemplating a Transatlantic Common Market to be created between the U.S. and the EU by 2015.
More than a free trade agreement
The Transatlantic economic integration plan was originated in 1939 by a world government advocate who sought to create a Transatlantic Union as an international governing body.
Writing in the Fall 2007 issue of the Streit Council journal "Freedom and Union," Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., a member of the TPN congressional policy advisory group, affirmed the TPN target date of 2015 for the creation of a Transatlantic Common Market.
Costa also argued the Transatlantic Economic Council is tasked with a common set of economic regulations, creating by bureaucratic action the required Transatlantic Common Market regulatory infrastructure, without seeking specific Congressional approval of a new Free-Trade Agreement, or FTA.
Writing in the same issue of the Streit Council publication, Sen. Bennett also confirmed that what has become known as the "Merkel initiative" would allow the Transatlantic Economic Council to integrate and harmonize administrative rules and regulations between the U.S. and the EU "in a very quiet way," contemplated then to be accomplished without introducing a new FTA to Congress.
The Streit Council is named after Clarence K. Streit, whose 1939 book "Union Now" called for the creation of a Transatlantic Union to be formed as a step toward world government. It envisioned a new governmental federation with an international constitution governing the 15 democracies of the U.S., the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and South Africa.
Ira Straus, former founder and U.S. coordinator of the Committee on Eastern Europe and Russia in NATO, or CEERN, a group dedicated to including Russia within NATO, credits Bennett with reviving Streit's work "seven decades later."
A globalist with leftist political leanings, Straus was a Fulbright professor of political science at Moscow State University and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations from 2001 to 2002.
The congruity of ideas between Bennett and Streit is clear when Bennett writes passages that echo precisely goals Streit stated in the same terms in 1939.
One such example is Bennett's claim in his Streit Council article that creating a Transatlantic Common Market would combine markets that comprise 60 percent of world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) under a common regulatory standard that would become "the de facto world standard regardless of what any other parties say."
Similarly, Streit wrote in "Union Now" that the economic power of the 15 democracies he sought to combine in a Transatlantic Union would be overwhelming in their economic power and a clear challenge to the authoritarian states then represented by Nazi Germany and the communist Soviet Union.
Also writing in the Fall 2007 issue of the Streit Council journal "Freedom and Union," World Bank economist Domenec Ruiz Devesa acknowledged that "transatlantic economic integration, though important in itself, is not the end."
"As understood by Jean Monnet," he continued, "economic integration must and will lead to political integration, since an integrated market requires common institutions producing common rules to govern it."