Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez

While the Bush administration insists the controversial Security and Prosperity Partnership is just a dialogue with Canada and Mexico, a State Department cable released to WND shows Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez pressing to implement major trilateral initiatives to help “capture the vision of North American integration.”

The cable was among some 150 pages of State Department SPP documents recently released to WND under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Howard Phillips, who has formed a coalition to block development of a “North American Union” and formation of NAFTA superhighways, told WND the document “makes clear that the agenda of SPP is to pursue major economic integration that redefines U.S. businesses into a ‘North American’ definition.”

“By leading with economics, SPP is crafting a North American regulatory structure that transforms U.S. regulations by ‘harmonizing’ them with Mexican and Canadian regulations, all without specific congressional approval,” said Phillips, chairman of the Conservative Caucus.

The State Department communiqu?, dated May 20, 2005, documents a March 13, 2005, meeting between Gutierrez, Mexican Secretary of Economy Fernando Canales and Canadian Privy Council Assistant Secretary Phil Ventura. The meeting was held just prior to the announcement of SPP at the trilateral summit with the country’s three leaders in Waco, Texas, March 23, 2005.

The cable notes Gutierrez opened the discussion by stressing that the July 23, 2005, “Report to Leaders” needed “to show results” that would be “enduring and create an on-going process.”

Gutierrez suggested each working group should propose one “big ticket” issue, rather than the “50-60 smaller initiatives” that were then in the SPP “matrix,” allowing the “SPP ministers” to capture the attention of the “SPP leaders” with major North American integration goals that were both tangible and important.

“This memo gives us an important ‘behind the scenes’ look at the trilateral bureaucratic process that gave rise to the “Report to Leaders.

The 2005 “Report to Leaders” on the SPP website, Phillips noted, resulted from a detailed process of trilateral bureaucratic meetings that led to cabinet-level discussions within the three governments. The end result, he said, was for the report to “focus on the major SPP working group initiatives that could advance the goal of North American integration.”

Phillips contended a “close reading of the document makes a lie of the SPP ‘myth vs. facts’ contention that SPP is just a ‘dialogue.'”

“The document quotes Canada’s Ventura as stating that the three countries should prepare a joint document declaring their trilateral intention to ‘integrate’ a list of industries, including automobiles, pharmaceuticals, textiles, furniture, and steel,” he argued. “Ventura said the more ‘trilateral integrated’ industries that could be listed, the better.”

At the meeting, Gutierrez proposed that the SPP ministers think in terms of a trilateral “integrated” auto industry creating a “Made in North America Vehicle by 2009.” He also suggested announcing “an IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) Violation Free Zone by 2010” and that SPP ministers should hold weekly conference calls to advance the agenda.

“The economic route being pursued behind closed doors by SPP working groups is a replay of the exact stealth route taken in Europe,” Phillips noted.

“Right now the EU is celebrating with a series of television commercials the evolution over a 50-year period from an initial coal and steel agreement to a full-fledged European Union regional government with the euro as a regional currency,” he said.

The recently uncovered State Department memo, Phillips added, makes clear the same bureaucratic process of regional integration is being implemented in North America within working group and minister meetings that are closed to the public and the press.

“The State Department memo also makes clear that Gutierrez is a major moving force driving the North American integration agenda for the Bush White House,” Phillips said.

Supporting Phillips’ contention, the State Department cable noted in the last paragraph the meeting got off to a slow start, but under Gutierrez’s leadership “it resulted in concrete ideas and direction for the working groups.”

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