USMCA and the Quest for a North American Union

The New American
by Christian Gomez

 

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If we Americans are to preserve our God-given rights — afforded by our national sovereignty — then we must convince Congress to reject the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which is a steppingstone toward an EU-style North American Union.

“USMCA will boost economic growth and create jobs” claims an April 2019 headline on the website of the White House. Big business has gotten behind it with large marketing campaigns from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and many GOP politicians are on board to pass it. Yet some liberty-loving organizations are working against the agreement. So who’s right? Is the majority of Americans not hearing important facts about the USMCA?

“Big business may be backing it, but so is big government,” says Bill Hahn, chief strategy officer of The John Birch Society. “Big government likes it because USMCA will add even more layers of unaccountable bureaucracy — enough to trap Americans, Mexicans, and Canadians into a style of government resembling the European Union.” Hahn quips that if you’re a fan of Brexit, you need to be against the USMCA.

The now 2,325-page USMCA is promoted by supporters as a “free trade” agreement; however, NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and the USMCA are anything but free trade. The lowering of tariffs is merely a façade for a managed regional integration scheme, the objective of which is no less than regional integration toward world government. Traditionally, free trade presupposes the free flow of goods across borders without the intervention of government. However, international organizations and arrangements such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), NAFTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) do not seek to remove government from international trade, but rather to empower more government over it. Such international organizations and arrangements often establish new regional or global rules, along with their own administrative or governing bodies to implement the agreement and enforce its provisions. As a result, trade schemes become mechanisms for control — not just over the trade aspect but also over the participating national governments. The USMCA is no different: As with so many “free trade agreements” before it, the USMCA is subordinate to the WTO, which is referenced nearly 90 times throughout the agreement.

The end result of such trade schemes is the erosion and transfer of national sovereignty to world government, and this loss of national sovereignty is accompanied by a corresponding loss of the security for our God-given rights that has been furnished by the U.S. Constitution since our nation’s founding. A nation’s independence and right to govern its own affairs by the consent of the people, with whom political sovereignty ultimately resides, is both the cornerstone of liberty and integral to America’s constitutional Republic. These precepts are woven into the fabric of the United States and enshrined in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.”

The Declaration of Independence affirms that people are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” and this is immediately followed up with the assertion that in order “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.” In other words, the purpose of government is solely to protect the people’s certain unalienable, God-given rights. The U.S. Constitution lays out the few and defined powers of the federal government, divided among the three branches of government. And the accompanying Bill of Rights, or first Ten Amendments, states what the federal government cannot do to infringe on the people’s God-given rights, among which are religious liberty, free speech, a free press, peaceful assembly, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to a speedy trial and a trial by jury, the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures, etc. The freedom to exercise any one of these God-given rights, as secured by the Constitution and the country’s independence, is threatened by sovereignty-killing trade schemes such as the WTO, NAFTA, USMCA, TPP, T-TIP, etc. 

For decades, the Deep State and those behind it in the echelons of the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Meetings, and powerful tax-exempt foundations have been working with the leaders of communist countries to bring about a “new world order,” or a one world government under the United Nations, by way of regional economic blocs of nations. Former Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger (shown in photo above), one of the leading architects of that new world order, made the following admission in his book entitled World Order: “The contemporary quest for world order will require a coherent strategy to establish a concept of order within the various regions and to relate these regional orders to one another.”  In other words, the road to world government — what Kissinger means by the phrase “world order” — will be through the establishment of regional integration schemes and interlocking them with one another. The most advanced of these schemes, or regional orders, is the European Union.

The EU Model

World War II left most of Europe devastated, with millions dead and millions more displaced, as many of its large cities had been destroyed. The economies of Europe, which had previously dominated the world markets, were almost nonexistent by the war’s end. Unlike Europe, northern Africa, Asia, and Japan, the United States was predominantly unscathed and as such found itself in a unique position, having the most powerful economy in the world. In what was sold as a massive humanitarian package to help rebuild war-torn Europe, the United States developed the Marshall Plan. As a stipulation for the aid, the plan called for the removal of Europe’s trade barriers, essentially blackmailing Western Europe into economic integration. 

On April 16, 1948, the European countries participating in the Marshall Plan came together and established the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) to administer the aid from the United States and Canada. As its name suggests, OEEC’s tasks were to promote cooperation among the participating European countries, “to develop intra-European trade by reducing tariffs and other barriers to the expansion of trade, [and] to study the feasibility of creating a customs union or free trade area,” according to Alexander Böhmer, writing about the history of the OEEC and its successor, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in the Handbook of Transnational Economic Governance Regimes (2009). Böhmer is currently the head of the OECD’s Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and India division.

On May 9, 1950, inspired by the Benelux Union, which was formed in 1944 by the governments-in-exile of Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg to eliminate trade barriers and promote the free flow of goods, services, and workers with one another, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman called for a similar integration scheme to place French and German coal and steel production under a common High Authority, with an open invitation for other European countries to join. The aim of Schuman’s declaration was to create a “federation of Europe.” Within a year of the Schuman Declaration, the governments of Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and West Germany came together in Paris and signed the treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community on April 18, 1951. On July 23, 1952, the ECSC became the world’s first international organization based on the concept of supranationalism, which ultimately culminated in today’s European Union following the Maastricht Treaty, or Treaty on European Union, signed on February 7, 1992.

In addition to creating a common market for coal and steel, the ECSC treaty established four new supranational bodies or governing institutions: the High Authority, composed of unelected government appointees; the Common Assembly, comprised of members of parliament from the various member countries’ national parliaments; the Special Council, made up of national ministers; and the Court of Justice. In 1957, the six ECSC founding members signed both the Treaty of Rome and the Euratom Treaty, establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom), respectively. In 2002 and 2009, all of the remaining autonomous institutions of the ECSC and EEC became absorbed into the EU. The original four governing bodies of the ECSC also provided the basis for creating the EU’s ruling, unelected European Commission, democratically elected European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Gradually, through a series of treaties and over a period of decades, more and more sovereignty was ceded from Europe’s nation-states to supranational government in the name of “free trade” and “economic integration.” 

Today, the EU boasts that it is a “post-national” entity, with its own flag, capital in Brussels, passports, foreign and diplomatic service, anthem (“Ode to Joy”), currency (the euro), central bank, supreme court, parliament, president, executive branch (the EU Commission, which elects the president), and constitution (the Lisbon Treaty). The EU, in addition to all of its member states, is also a member of the WTO. Despite what it may say, the EU possesses all the hallmarks of a nation-state, but at a higher level, transcending the nation-states that make it up. In a working paper for the CFR’s International Institutions and Global Governance program entitled “The European Union as a Model for Regional Integration” (2010), author Fraser Cameron writes, “No other regional body is anywhere near the EU in terms of political or economic cooperation, let alone integration.”

Although Cameron does not mention North America or NAFTA in his essay, he advances the notion of promoting the EU as the model for other integration schemes around the globe, noting the significance of France and Germany’s reconciliation as a key factor in Europe’s integration. Cameron states:

As the EU’s experience demonstrates, historical reconciliation is a critical element in developing the necessary political will for cooperation and, ultimately, integration. The fundamental basis for the success of the EU is the historical reconciliation between France and Germany, achieved by years of sustained political effort from the leaders of both countries.

Cameron further contends, “Only after historical reconciliation can countries proceed gradually along the various steps required to create a regional community such as a free trade area, a customs union, a single market, a single currency, a common passport area, and a common foreign policy.” While this may pose an obstacle for globalists to regionally integrate China and Japan or Pakistan and India, no such animosity is present in North America, where all three countries — the United States, Mexico, and Canada — already participate in a great deal of cooperation related to trade, energy, and security. Seeing as there is no need for reconciliation between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, such as there was with France and Germany, North America has been an ideal prospect for globalists salivating for regional integration. 

North American Community

In May 2005, the Council on Foreign Relations, in conjunction with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales (Mexican Council on International Affairs), issued a report entitled “Building a North American Community.” The controversial 175-page report was produced by a self-styled “Independent Task Force” chaired by the late Dr. Robert Pastor, who was a leading architect and proponent of the integration of North America along the lines of the EU. Pastor was also the founding director of the Center for North American Studies and the Center for Democracy and Election Management at American University, where he also taught as a professor on international relations. Regarding this proposed “North American Community,” page three of the report stated:

Its boundaries will be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter within which the movement of people, products, and capital will be legal, orderly, and safe. Its goal will be to guarantee a free, secure, just, and prosperous North America.

In other words, they were saying that NAFTA should be replaced with a kind of EU-Lite. Among the report’s recommendations were the harmonization of visa requirements; the development of a North American Border Pass with biometric identifiers, which is observable today in the form of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant passport card and enhanced driver’s licenses for land and sea travel within North America (not yet approved for air travel); sharing data about the entry and exit of foreign nationals; harmonizing entry screening and tracking procedures for people, goods, and vessels; law-enforcement cooperation across all three countries; enhancing the current North American Development Bank; and the establishment of a North American Investment Fund to “encourage private capital flow into Mexico.” 

In an article entitled “North America’s Second Decade,” published in the January/February 2004 issue of Foreign Affairs, the main bimonthly publication of the CFR, Pastor called for the transfer of $100 billion to Mexico over 10 years for “infrastructure development.” In the same article, Pastor praised what he saw as the success of NAFTA. “NAFTA was merely the first draft of an economic constitution for North America,” he wrote. In addition to building up Mexico’s infrastructure to the tune of $100 billion, Pastor also called for merging “immigration and refugee policies,” creating a common North American passport such as the CFR taskforce would later recommend in its report, and  the establishment of a continental “security perimeter” or common North American border. 

Many of Pastor’s recommendations, which were also included in the CFR’s “Building a North American Community” report, were later adopted or incorporated in the proposed Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). Then-U.S. President George W. Bush, then-President of Mexico Vicente Fox, and then-prime minister of Canada Paul Martin unveiled the SPP at a summit meeting in Waco, Texas, on March 23, 2005. Following the initial Waco summit, four more trilateral summit meetings were held. By August 2009, the SPP was officially terminated with the following announcement on the SPP website stating: “The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) is no longer an active initiative. There will not be any updates to this site.” Prior to passing away, Pastor blamed The John Birch Society for having killed his globalist ambitions for an EU-style North America. That’s because The John Birch Society had led successful grassroots educational campaigns exposing and stopping both President Bill Clinton’s proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which would have extended NAFTA beyond North America to the entire Western Hemisphere (except Cuba), and Bush’s SPP.

Unlike Pastor’s 2004 article in Foreign Affairs, the taskforce report fell short of outright recommending full North American economic integration. It could best be described as a globalist blueprint toward achieving that aim, though, nevertheless making it a key document. On page 39 of the report, Pastor enthusiastically endorsed it and suggested that North American integration go even further, writing: “This report articulates a vision and offers specific ideas for deepening North American integration. I endorse it with enthusiasm, but would add two ideas to galvanize the effort and secure its implementation: a customs union and U.S. government reorganization.”

Toward a Customs Union

In his seminal work The Theory of Economic Integration (1961), the late Hungarian economist Béla Balassa defines “integration” both as “a process and as a state of affairs.” Balassa breaks down economic integration into five stages, each representing “various degrees of integration.” “These are a free-trade area, a customs union, a common market, an economic union, and complete economic integration.” 

NAFTA represented the first step in this long-term integration process. Building on the previous Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA expanded the free-trade area to include Mexico. Unlike in a customs union, in this stage the national governments of all three countries retain control over tariffs on non-member countries. The USMCA falls short of establishing a full-fledged customs union, such as Pastor recommended, in which all three countries would agree to establish common external tariffs on non-member countries. However, new to the USMCA, Article 32.10 of its chapter 32 on “Exceptions and General Provisions” leans heavily in this direction, possibly laying the groundwork for a future North American customs union. 

Under Article 32.10, if either the United States, Mexico, or Canada pursues a free trade agreement with a “non-market country,” or country with which neither has signed an FTA, they are required to inform the two other USMCA countries at least three months prior to commencing such negotiations. Upon request of any one of the other two USMCA countries, the country pursuing an FTA with the designated “non-market country” is required to “provide as much information as possible regarding the objectives for those negotiations.” This includes providing the full text of the FTA to the other USMCA countries, no later than 30 days before it is signed. 

If one or both of the other USMCA countries objects to the one’s new FTA with a “non-market country,” it may formally withdraw from the USMCA, thereby cutting off preferred access of its markets to the USMCA country that entered into the FTA with the “non-market country.” Article 32.10.5 stipulates: “Entry by a Party into a free trade agreement with a non-market country will allow the other Parties to terminate this [USMCA] Agreement on six months’ notice and replace this Agreement with an agreement as between them (bilateral agreement).” This disincentive virtually establishes a de facto unanimous-approval requirement by all three countries if any one wishes to pursue a new FTA with a country with which none of the three has signed an FTA. Projecting the lines, this “non-market country” disincentive may spawn the establishment of a North American Customs Union with common tariff rates among all three countries for non-market countries. 

Consolidating “the economic integration of North America”, as then-Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto touted about the USMCA, when he signed it on November 30, 2018, will ultimately give rise to the creation of a binding supranational authority over all three countries, one in which unelected, appointed bureaucrats supersede the will and authority of the American people and individual states as represented by the U.S. federal government. In fact, such a supranational authority is not too far off from what the USMCA proposes.

Toward a North American Commission

The USMCA’s Chapter 30, on “Administrative and Institutional Provisions,” establishes the creation of a “Free Trade Commission” as a regional governing bureaucracy overseeing various lower committees, among which is the Competitiveness Committee established in Chapter 26. Article 30.1 of the agreement states: “The Parties [United States, Mexico, and Canada] hereby establish a Free Trade Commission (Commission), composed of government representatives of each Party at the level of Ministers or their designees.” These government representatives will be appointed by the governments of the member countries.

Although NAFTA also established its own Free Trade Commission in 1994, the one described in Chapter 30 of the USMCA is virtually identical to the governing commission in chapter 27 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). According to Article 30.2, the USMCA’s Free Trade Commission is empowered to:

(a) consider matters relating to the implementation or operation of this Agreement;

(b) consider proposals to amend or modify this Agreement;

(c) supervise the work of committees, working groups, and other subsidiary bodies established under this Agreement;

(d) consider ways to further enhance trade and investment between the Parties;

(e) adopt and update the Rules of Procedure and Code of Conduct applicable to dispute settlement proceedings; and

(f) review the roster established under Article 31.8 (Roster and Qualifications of Panelists) every three years and, when appropriate, constitute a new roster.

Giving these powers to the Free Trade Commission makes the USMCA a “living agreement,” much like the TPP, thus allowing the Free Trade Commission to change the agreement without the approval of the U.S. Congress. In addition to those powers, Article 30.2 further empowers the Free Trade Commission to delegate new tasks or responsibilities to its subordinate committees, either merge or dissolve its subordinate committees, change the schedule or dates of when certain duties or tariffs are to be lowered or removed, ambiguously “develop arrangements for implementing this Agreement,” and get advice from “non-governmental persons or groups” such as the Council on Foreign Relations or academics who advocate for greater North American integration, among other powers.

According to Article 30.2, the Free Trade Commission may even “modify any Uniform Regulations agreed jointly by the Parties under Article 5.16 (Uniform Regulations), subject to completion of applicable legal procedures by each Party.” The commission would have the power to change the “Uniform” (or universal) regulations for all three countries, as long as the governments of all three countries eventually approve those changes. This opens the door for the U.S. Congress, Mexico’s Congress, and Canada’s Parliament to become rubber-stamp bodies for any new changes to the countries’ regulations because the USMCA’s governing Free Trade Commission demands it. In fact, this has already happened to Congress with respect to the World Trade Organization.

In 2008, when Congress amended the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to require meat products such as beef and pork sold in the United States to have country of origin labels (COOL), Canada claimed the law violated WTO rules. As a result, Canada and other countries, including Mexico, took the United States to arbitration under a WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB). The WTO DSB ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico, stating that they could retaliate by imposing over $1 billion in tariffs on U.S. products unless the United States repealed the law. On June 10, 2015, the Republican-dominated House of Representatives voted 300 to 131 in favor of repealing COOL, in compliance with the WTO DSB’s decision. COOL’s repeal was also included in the $1.4 trillion omnibus-spending bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in December 2015.

While in theory the U.S. Congress would still have the final say over changes to domestic regulations and practices that affect trade, in reality the U.S. government would more than likely acquiesce to the decisions or “recommendations” of the Free Trade Commission in the name of freeing world trade and promoting economic integration and cooperation. 

Similarly, in the EU, the European Commission makes new laws and regulations that the European Parliament and in turn the parliaments of all EU-member states are forced to accept. In matters of international trade agreements, the European Commission negotiates for, and on behalf of, the EU as a whole. This in turn precludes the possibility of, say, a U.S.-Germany Free Trade Agreement. As a customs union, the European Union imposes a common external tariff on non-EU countries, meaning the governments of individual EU member states have no control over tariffs for goods entering their countries. In the United States, this type of customs union would be unconstitutional; the Constitution grants the power to both regulate trade and levy tariffs exclusively to Congress, not to the president or to any international body or agreement. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution states, “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises … To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”

Preserve Our Rights by Stopping the USMCA 

In his second address before the United Nations General Assembly, delivered on September 25, 2018, President Donald Trump triumphantly declared, “We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy. America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.” Unfortunately, congressional approval and implementation of the USMCA would negate this. Once in the USMCA, the United States would be subordinate to an unelected, and thus unaccountable, regional bureaucracy. 

If America wishes to remain governed by Americans and to reject the ideology of globalism, then it must also reject the ideologies of regionalism and supranationalism by both opposing the USMCA and getting out of NAFTA. The primary issue is not the economic impact of the USMCA, good or bad, but its potential implications for U.S. sovereignty. The United States can weather the storms of a bad economy or recession, but it cannot survive the loss of its sovereignty. This underscores the need to prevent and stop any international agreements or supranational arrangements that erode and infringe on U.S. sovereignty. 

The continuity of American sovereignty, and with it the safeguarding of our God-given rights by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, hinges on what happens with regard to the USMCA. Those who embrace the doctrine of patriotism can contact the president, their federal representative, and U.S. senators to oppose the USMCA, telling them that they should uphold our rights and freedoms by voting NO on the USMCA steppingstone to an EU-style North American Union. If this is done by patriotic Americans, America stands a chance of remaining a free and independent constitutional Republic for now and future generations. The choice has never been clearer: Americans can either choose to secure our freedoms by preserving our nation’s sovereignty, or we can go down the globalist path of Europe in pursuance of regional economic and political integration. If we prefer to preserve our national sovereignty and thereby secure our freedoms, then we must convince Congress to vote NO on the USMCA. 

 

The New American

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