Should the Left Worry about the SPP?

The Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) gets a brief mention in my NAFTA highway piece.

But NASCO is just one part of what Corsi and his ilk view as a grand conspiracy. There's also a federal initiative called the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), which they portray as a Trojan horse packed with globalists scheming to form a European Union-style governing body to manage the entire continent. The reactions of those in SPP to this characterization seem to range from bemusement to alarm. "There is no NAFTA Superhighway," Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance David Bohigian told me emphatically over the phone. Initiated in 2005, the SPP is a relatively mundane formal bureaucratic dialogue, he says. Working groups, staffed by midlevel officials from all three countries, figure out how to better synchronize customs enforcement, security protocols and regulatory frameworks among the countries. "Simple stuff like, for instance, in the US we sell baby food in several different sizes; in Canada, it's just two different sizes."

In the original draft, I had another sentence, one which I kind of wish I’d left in, but cut for space and clarity:

Clearly, though, the long-term vision is a bit more ambitious. On the organization's website, for instance, under the Prosperity heading, they discuss bringing the three nations' regulatory regimes into consonance. Given this is the Bush administration heading up the project, one can't but help think the euphemistic platitudes are yet another cloak for gutting regulations and giving corporations free reign.

Chet Scoville here makes the case I got suckered and that the Left should be worried about the SPP. I don’t necessarily disagree. That said, the focus was on the highway mythology and the SPP arose in connection to that. Even if SPP is scheming to do all sorts of awful things (and there’s some evidence it is), it’s not masterminding a non-existent highway.

Chris Hayes is the host of All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC.


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