Partners across the Pond: Across the Atlantic, the United States and the EU Are Reaching for Closer Economic Integration and More International Regulations, but Why Are They Doing It under the Table?
McManus, John F., The New American
Approximately 50 persons gathered in a plush conference room at the State Department on March 10. They were there for a meeting of the Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy (ACIEP), a fairly new group that serves as an advisory body to the U.S. government. They champion the Security and Prosperity Partnership and related organizations steering the United States toward more regional and international integration.
Washington lawyer and Council on Foreign Relations member Ted Kassinger, a former Deputy Secretary and General Counsel at the Department of Commerce, chaired the two-hour session. He was assisted by Assistant Secretary of State Daniel S. Sullivan.
All in attendance were immediately instructed that the meeting would be conducted according to "Chatham House rules," meaning that no person should be identified with any comments given during the proceedings. It would be permissible to mention what was discussed but no attribution is allowed. (Chatham House is another name for Britain's Royal Institute of International Affairs, the internationalist equivalent in that nation of the Council on Foreign Relations in America.)
The words "convergence," "harmonization," and "integration" were used frequently at the meeting, and each was characterized as the overall goal. Every dictionary I consulted states that "integration" means creating a single entity.
Beyond frequent mention of NAFTA and the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) for North America, the participants delighted in discussing the Framework for Advancing Transatlantic Economic Integration created in April 2007 by President Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. According to information distributed at the meeting, this "Framework has put the United States and the European Union on a joint path toward further transatlantic economic integration." Claiming it possesses a "political commitment," the framework has led to "a new Cabinet-level Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC)."
About the TEC, the participants at the meeting stated, "We are in close contact with the EU." "We have great hopes for more US-EU discussions." "We want to reduce and harmonize regulatory burdens." Referring to a previous meeting of the TEC: "It was simply wonderful to have this meeting [TEC] with our EU friends, and six [U.S.] cabinet leaders were in attendance along with the heads of two regulatory agencies [EPA and FDA]." Obviously, this TEC is paving the way for the integration of North America and the EU.
One speaker said it would be wise not to refer to what they were doing as "NAFTA Plus." These globalists are obviously aware of growing public opposition to NAFTA. Another noted that "SPP builds on NAFTA," which of course it does. Still another offered, "The security aspect of SPP is being directed by the Department of Homeland Security, and the prosperity aspect is being directed by the Department of Commerce."
There were numerous references to progress already achieved (both within SPP and TEC) regarding standardization of some accounting procedures and regulatory controls. New areas where further progress is being sought include harmonization in the areas of biofuels, health, IT products, and RFID technology.
One participant noted, "Together, the North America and the EU nations add up to 11 percent of the world's population and 58 percent of the world's Gross Domestic Product." He seemed unhappy about this disparity.
Another stated, "It was great progress when the North American Competitiveness Council was launched at the Montebello SPP meeting." "The NACC's input from the private sector helps to harmonize what we are doing." There are more than a dozen major U.S. corporations in the NACC, each profiting in the drive toward globalization. The firms weren't named during the meeting, but they are Campbell Soup, Chevron, Ford, FedEx, General Electric, General Motors, K. …