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Negotiating North America: The Security and ... - Hudson Institute

Negotiating North America: The Security and ... - Hudson Institute

Negotiating North America: The Security and Prosperity Partnership Summer 2007Meanwhile, Canadians were debating what manyperceived to be a significant weakening of ―thespecial relationship‖ that had sustained Canada-U.S.relations for much of the postwar period. It wasfeared that the not-so-subtle support of VicePresident Al Gore‘s candidacy by then-PrimeMinister Jean Chrétien, particularly in a speechChrétien gave at Duke University during the Floridarecounts, might lead the Bush administration todowngrade Canada-U.S. relations.September 11 was a watershed for the U.S.relationship with Canada as well. Canadiansthemselves had demonstrated their generosity byopening their homes to thousands of air travelersstranded by the closure of American airspace afterthe attacks. For many Canadians, Bush‘s failure tosingle out Canada for praise in a speech to a jointsession of Congress on September 20, 2001 was asign that the bilateral relationship remained in poorshape, and might soon get worse. Then, in Bush‘s2002 State of the Union Address he referred to TonyBlair‘s Britain as America‘s greatest friend—a titlemany Canadians had proudly claimed.Complicating matters even further, U.S. political andforeign policy attention throughout 2002 and 2003were dominated by the repercussions of militaryaction against the Taliban in Afghanistan andSaddam Hussein‘s regime in Iraq. The Chrétiengovernment gave support to the Afghanistan mission,and Canada eventually sent troops there. Its positionon Iraq was more complex, courting U.S. attentionwhile considering its position, and ultimatelyupbraiding the Bush administration for takingmilitary action to enforce United Nations SecurityCouncil disarmament resolutions. Mexico, citing along tradition of non-intervention in foreign affairs,signaled it would not participate militarily in eithertheater of the war, but chose not to offer any publicrebuke to Washington as it acted in either country.The extent to which the positions taken by Ottawaand Mexico City with regard to war in Afghanistanand Iraq affected their bilateral relations with theUnited States remains unclear, but the Bushadministration‘s focus on terrorism initiallyconfirmed Canadian and Mexican fears ofmarginalization in U.S. foreign policy.As a result, when all three leaders, President Bush,President Fox, and the newly installed Prime MinisterMartin, finally met at Waco, Texas on March 23,2005, the summit was seen in all three countries as anexercise in mending a few fences. Yet both thesummit and the announcement of SPP representedmore than an exercise in regional diplomacy andgood neighborliness.The Waco Summit took place at a time when all threeleaders were confronted at home by the increasinglypoisonous politics of regional and global tradeliberalization. NAFTA implementation and thesuccessful Uruguay Round negotiations of theGeneral Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)had revitalized domestic movements against tradeliberalization and free markets in North America andaround the world, culminating in running streetbattles between protesters and police in Seattle in1999. 13 The Bush administration regained some ofthat momentum in November 2001 rallying strongsupport for the launch of the Doha Round of WorldTrade Organization negotiations, and then woncongressional approval of fast-track negotiatingauthority (now called trade promotion authority) tocarry these talks forward in early 2002.As it prepared for the Waco Summit, the Bushadministration was also struggling to wincongressional support for the recently concludedU.S.-Central American Free Trade AgreementH U D S O N I N S T I T U T E Page 13

Negotiating North America: The Security and Prosperity Partnership Summer 2007(CAFTA). The CAFTA was a relatively minoragreement for the United States in economic terms,but important politically in shoring up importantallies in the region. Yet, U.S. agricultural interests,especially sugar beet growers, were adamantlyopposed to the CAFTA. Complicating matters furtherwas the simple fact that the CAFTA rhymed withNAFTA and too readily recalled the bitterness of thedebate a decade earlier. 14Whereas the steady, successful, and largelyuncontroversial implementation of the Smart BorderAction Plans established support among officials inall three governments for further cooperation in thearea of security, anecdotal evidence of difficultycrossing U.S. borders and unpleasant encounters withnew security measures led the public to be moreapprehensive in Canada and Mexico aboutnegotiating new security measures with the UnitedStates. The vigorous debate over the state of U.S.civil liberties during the 2004 U.S. electioncontributed to alarm in both Canada and Mexico overpost-September 11 security legislation like the USA-PATRIOT Act and the conditions at the militaryprison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.As a result, U.S. objectives for the SPP included areinvigoration of talks aimed at removing non-tariffbarriers to economic activity and renewing the SmartBorder Action Plans to further security cooperation,all while trying to immunize the SPP from thebruising debates over trade liberalization and theUSA-PATRIOT Act.The SPP was structured in recognition of the realitythat technical negotiations required that lineregulators, rule makers, and specialists take the leadin working with counterparts. And yet, it was alsoreflective of the fact that the soft political mandatefor such negotiations (on the economic side)contained in NAFTA (the built-in agenda) had beeninsufficient. These considerations led President Bushto name Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez andHomeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff as theco-chairs of the U.S. SPP process. U.S. Secretary ofState Condoleezza Rice served as a third co-chair,with the detachment from institutional prerogativesfor prosperity issues (which the Department ofCommerce had) or security issues (which theDepartment of Homeland Security would logicalhave) to provide the president with advice on theoverall health of the initiative. Rice‘s coordinatingSPP Working GroupsProsperity AgendaE-CommerceEnergyEnvironmentFinancial ServicesFood and AgricultureHealthManufactured Goods and Sectoraland Regional CompetitivenessMovement of GoodsTransportationBusiness FacilitationSecurity AgendaAviation SecurityBio-protectionBorder FacilitationCargo SecurityIntelligence CooperationLaw Enforcement CooperationMaritime Security and TransportCritical Infrastructure ProtectionScience and TechnologyCooperationTraveler SecurityH U D S O N I N S T I T U T E Page 14

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