Metcalf: Security and Prosperity Partnership
By Geoff Metcalf
"This is totally outside the U.S. Constitution, virtually an executive branch coup d'etat…" - Dr. Jerome Corsi
I first met Dr. Jerome Corsi in a parking lot in Boston during the Democratic national convention. Despite his Harvard PhD credentials, I liked him intuitively.
Jerry is known for co-authoring ‘Unfit for Command’ (that arguably crushed John Kerry’s presidential dream quest). He subsequently wrote a couple of very good books about Atomic Iran and then teamed up with the Minutemen in the fight to protect our borders.
However, Corsi’s most significant work may well be his largely ignored crusade against SPP (Security and Prosperity Partnership).
“The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) was launched in March of 2005 as a trilateral effort to increase security and enhance prosperity among the United States, Canada and Mexico through greater cooperation and information sharing.” Or so says the web page. It is really the inevitable and promised expansion of NAFTA.
Over 14 years ago I was among the more vocal critics warning of potential dire consequences that would and could result from NAFTA (and later from the GATT World Trade Organization).
Frederick Douglas once said, ”Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them;” and he wasn’t even aware of the details of NAFTA et al.
The so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership is another warm and fuzzy sounding con job. As P.J. O’Rourke once observed, “It’s like giving alcohol and the car keys to a teenage boy.”
Like NAFTA and GATT, SPP proposes an illegal finesse of form over substance.
A treaty (and NAFTA, GATT a n d SPP are really treaties) requires a two-thirds vote of the U.S. Senate to be approved.
These smarmy ‘trade agreements’ ignore the constitutional mandates and claim to be ‘agreements’. Words have meaning and this is way more than a semantic two-step.
Over six years ago, I wrote the following quickie Readers Digest version of the key dangers of our "trade agreement":
1. It isn't a treaty per se. A treaty requires a two-thirds majority vote of the U.S. Senate. So although it walked like a duck, and quacked like a duck, and flew like a duck, and defecated like a duck, they called it "an agreement." An international "agreement" only requires a simple majority of both houses. With NAFTA the vote was so close in the Senate that Vice President Al Gore had to cast the deciding vote. That alone should be ample reason not to run from the @#$%& thing.
2. NAFTA was literally the camel's nose in the tent. It planted the seed for its illegitimate offspring-on-steroids that followed. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) had been percolating in the shadows for years. However, the addition of the World Trade Organization as the "dispute resolution" arm was the coup de grace.
3. NAFTA is a trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico. When conflicts occur (which are inevitable), NAFTA created a mechanism for resolving disputes. Any dispute could be brought to an executive committee, which is comprised of representatives from each of the signatory countries. However, the adjudication of the dispute is held in secret executive session, and the decision of the judges is final. No appeal, no review of the proceedings, no recourse other than to eat excrement and try not to develop a taste for it.
4. The biggie is the cruel reality that local, state, and yes, even federal law can and will be abrogated by a secret trade star chamber.
But it gets worse…If you lose a dispute with either the NAFTA Star Chamber tribunal or the GATT World Trade Organization, you cannot appeal.
State or federal legislation cannot mitigate a bad decision.
It cannot be overruled through a judicial procedure.
It cannot be expunged by executive order.
In other words, the three branches of government established by the framers and codified by the Constitution have been neutered by a treaty that really isn't a treaty but has the force of treaty but we agree not to call it a treaty. Get it? Wink/wink ... nod/nod.
Even California Democrat George Miller acknowledged, "Local legislation can be nullified because a secret trade tribunal says so. ... It doesn't matter whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, a conservative or liberal." And he is right!
I have always maintained, "It's not WHO is right or wrong, but WHAT is right or wrong." NAFTA and GATT and SPP were, are, and will always be wrong.
Daniel Seligman, director of trade policy for the Sierra Club (yeah, the Sierra Club), observed, "Trade has become a kind of de facto global government serving only one constituent -- transnational corporations. ... You end up with corporate property rights that go well beyond what is provided by 200 years of Supreme Court rulings.''
When Geoff Metcalf quotes the Sierra Club, and they are right -- it's time to close.
October 29, 2006
About the Author
Federal Observer contributing columnist Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host. He is a veteran media performer with an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's Web Site.
Geoff Metcalf's Archives on The Federal Observer