Earl Bockenfeld's Radio Weblog : America's real drug problem, is called television. --Greg Palast
Updated: 7/1/2006; 10:41:43 AM.


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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Have You Heard About The NAFTA Super Highway?

Quietly but systematically, the Bush Administration is advancing the plan to build a huge NAFTA Super Highway, four football-fields-wide, through the heart of the U.S. along Interstate 35, from the Mexican border at Laredo, Tex., to the Canadian border north of Duluth, Minn.

Once complete, the new road will allow containers from the Far East to enter the United States through the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas, bypassing the Longshoreman’s Union in the process. The Mexican trucks, without the involvement of the Teamsters Union, will drive on what will be the nation’s most modern highway straight into the heart of America. The Mexican trucks will cross border in FAST lanes, checked only electronically by the new “SENTRI” system. The first customs stop will be a Mexican customs office in Kansas City, their new Smart Port complex, a facility being built for Mexico at a cost of $3 million to the U.S. taxpayers in Kansas City.

As incredible as this plan may seem to some readers, the first Trans-Texas Corridor segment of the NAFTA Super Highway is ready to begin construction next year. Various U.S. government agencies, dozens of state agencies, and scores of private NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have been working behind the scenes to create the NAFTA Super Highway, despite the lack of comment on the plan by President Bush. The American public is largely asleep to this key piece of the coming “North American Union” that government planners in the new trilateral region of United States, Canada and Mexico are about to drive into reality.

Just examine the following websites to get a feel for the magnitude of NAFTA Super Highway planning that has been going on without any new congressional legislation directly authorizing the construction of the planned international corridor through the center of the country.

NASCO, the North America SuperCorridor Coalition Inc., is a "non-profit organization dedicated to developing the world's first international, integrated and secure, multi-modal transportation system along the International Mid-Continent Trade and Transportation Corridor to improve both the trade competitiveness and quality of life in North America." Where does that sentence say anything about the USA? Still, NASCO has received $2.5 million in earmarks from the U.S. Department of Transportation to plan the NAFTA Super Highway as a 10-lane limited-access road (five lanes in each direction) plus passenger and freight rail lines running alongside pipelines laid for oil and natural gas. One glance at the map of the NAFTA Super Highway on the front page of the NASCO website will make clear that the design is to connect Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. into one transportation system.

Kansas City SmartPort Inc. is an "investor based organization supported by the public and private sector" to create the key hub on the NAFTA Super Highway. At the Kansas City SmartPort, the containers from the Far East can be transferred to trucks going east and west, dramatically reducing the ground transportation time dropping the containers off in Los Angeles or Long Beach involves for most of the country. A brochure on the SmartPort website describes the plan in glowing terms: "For those who live in Kansas City, the idea of receiving containers nonstop from the Far East by way of Mexico may sound unlikely, but later this month that seemingly far-fetched notion will become a reality."

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is overseeing the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) as the first leg of the NAFTA Super Highway. A 4,000-page environmental impact statement has already been completed and public hearings are scheduled for five weeks, beginning next month, in July 2006. The billions involved will be provided by a foreign company, Cintra Concessions de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A. of Spain. As a consequence, the TTC will be privately operated, leased to the Cintra consortium to be operated as a toll-road.

None of this would be possible without the extensive work being done by the U.S. Department of Commerce working groups charged with implementing by new regulations the Strategic and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP. The SPP agreement was reached between President Bush, President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin during their March 2005 summit meeting in Waco, Texas. The Bush administration plan is to create a North American Union along the model of the European Union, put in place by administrative regulations and departmental working groups under the SPP umbrella.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is actively working on a Free and Secure Trade program that would create special lanes to allow trucks from Mexico to cross the U.S. border with minimal electronic inspection, reducing the U.S. border with Mexico to no more than a speed-bump for authorized Mexican trucks entering the country.

On June 7, 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Department of Transportation v. Public Citizen ruled in favor of the Bush administration's argument that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration lacked the authority to exercise environmental controls to prevent Mexican trucks from openly operating in the U.S. under NAFTA. This ruling was key in the Bush administration's determination to open U.S. borders to Mexican trucks under the trade agreement. Had the Supreme Court decided otherwise, the NAFTA Super Corridor project would have suffered a setback.

I continue to argue that a "follow the money" strategy must be utilized to understand why President Bush has refused to close our border with Mexico, pushing instead for "comprehensive immigration reform" legislation that would allow the vast majority of illegal immigrants now in the U.S. to remain under a "guest worker" or "pathway to citizenship" provision. The underlying agenda of the Bush administration seems to be to create a NAFTA-plus environment in which workers, trade and capital will be allowed to flow unimpeded within the trilateral North American community consisting of the United States, Canada and Mexico.

A good reason Bush does not want to secure the border with Mexico may be that the administration is trying to create express lanes for Mexican trucks to bring containers with cheap Far East goods into the heart of the U.S., all without the involvement of any U.S. union workers on the docks or in the trucks. 

categories: Outrages
Other Stories according to Google: NAFTA Superhighways Threaten North America | Steven Higgs: NPR and the NAFTA Highway | FIREFLYFANS.NET | NORTH AMERICA’S SUPERHIGHWAY COALITION TRANSPORTATION FORUM | Post Reply | LP: The worst bill you ’ve never heard of | Google Groups: rec.gambling.poker | Google Groups: rec.gambling.poker | Google Groups: rec.gambling.poker | NAFTA Super Corridor 12-Lane Toll Highway Links Canada/US/Mexico

1:44:13 AM    

© Copyright 2006 Earl Bockenfeld.

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