By Jasper, William F.
The New American , Vol. 22, No. 20
Eventually our long-range objective is to establish with the United States, but also with Canada, our other regional partner, an ensemble of connections and institutions similar to those created by the European Union.
--Mexican President Vicente Fox's "new global agenda" speech to Club XXI in Madrid, Spain, May 16, 2002
Returning to Mexico from George W. Bush's Texas ranch in March 2005, President Vicente Fox told reporters aboard the presidential plane: "I would like you to understand the magnitude of what this means. It is transcendent, it's something that goes well beyond the relationship we have had up to now." The transcendental "it" to which Mr. Fox was referring, of course, is the new Security and Prosperity Partnership for North America (SPP) that he, President Bush, and then-Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin had just launched at their Texas meeting.
President Fox's comment evokes an important question: just what is it that the Security and Prosperity Partnership is transcending? The SPP has signaled the launching of an ongoing political "process" that envisions transcending a great many things, including our borders, our national independence, and our U.S. Constitution. Even a cursory examination of the available SPP reports and the statements of its leading proponents leads to the rational conclusion that the SPP definitely is part of the "long-range objective" mentioned above in the 2002 quote by President Fox, to establish a North American version of the European Union, or EU.
President Fox has been quite voluble on the subject, making repeated calls for and references to EU-style "integration," "convergence," "community," and "union" for North America. In February 2001, President Bush joined President Fox in pledging to "strive to consolidate a North American economic community."
Now, however, the Bush administration and the growing tri-national SPP bureaucracy have become somewhat touchy on this issue, claiming that there is no intention for the SPP to move in an EU-type direction.
But the facts on the ground, together with a plain reading of SPP documents and public admissions by the SPP's leading lights, render these denials less than believable. In fact, even before the introduction of the SPP, NAFTA was morphing into something far beyond the simple "trade agreement" that President Clinton said it was when he signed it in 1993.
Rulings by NAFTA tribunals already have begun mimicking the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, the judicial bodies of the European Union that have been leading the attack on the national sovereignty of EU member states. In 2004, many U.S. politicians, including those who had voted for NAFTA, expressed shock when a panel of NAFTA judges overturned a ruling of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts in a case brought by a Canadian company. The company had gone to the NAFTA court because the U.S. Supreme Court had denied the company's appeal. And the NAFTA court, asserting its power under Chapter 11 of the agreement, decided to trump both the Massachusetts court and the U.S. Supreme Court.
"This is the biggest threat to United States judicial independence that [few people have] heard of and even fewer people understand," John D. Echeverria, a law professor at Georgetown University, told the New York Times following the ruling. "It's basically been under the radar screen," Peter Spiro, a law professor at Hofstra University, said in the same Times article. "But it points to a fundamental reorienration of our constitutional system. You have an international tribunal essentially reviewing American court judgments." (Emphasis added.)
Using the EU as precedent, we can surmise that the rule of law in the United States will increasingly be dictated to us by unelected "trade" officials. The following is a short list of abuses visited upon Europeans by the EU:
* British grocers have been thrown in jail for selling bananas and other produce by the pound, as requested by their customers, rather than by metric weight, as dictated by EU officials in Brussels. …