Despite having no authorization from Congress, the Bush administration has launched extensive working-group activity to implement a trilateral agreement with Mexico and Canada.
The membership of the working groups has not been published, nor has their work product been disclosed, despite two years of massive effort within the executive branches of the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
The groups, working under the North American Free Trade Association office in the Department of Commerce, are to implement the Security and Prosperity Partnership, or SPP, signed by President Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox and then-Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin in Waco, Texas, on March 23, 2005.
The trilateral agreement, signed as a joint declaration not submitted to Congress for review, led to the creation of the SPP office within the Department of Commerce.
The SPP report to the heads of state of the U.S., Mexico and Canada,—released June 27, 2005,—lists some 20 different working groups spanning a wide variety of issues ranging from e-commerce, to aviation policy, to borders and immigration, involving the activity of multiple U.S. government agencies.
Why the secrecy?
“We did not want to get the contact people of the working groups distracted by calls from the public,” said Word.