NAFTA Superhighway Rearing Head in Republican Leadership Race

P’n’P covered the NASCO Corridor/NAFTA Superhighway quite a while ago, back when all the powers-that-be were denying it was a plan in action. Well, Regina now has its ‘global transportation hub‘ and the signs on the highway aren’t worth stopping to photograph. But here’s an update to a previous P’n’P piece which revives the USA’s Superhighway problem in Texas.

Rick Perry’s NAFTA Superhighway problem

By Rachel Alexander
web posted August 15, 2011

Move over Mitt Romney. Rick Perry has a bigger problem to defend from his tenure as governor. Remember the NAFTA Superhighway project? It was to consist of a two-mile wide $184 billion transit system of toll roads, rail lines and utilities from the Texas-Mexico border all the way up to the Minnesota-Canadian border, to make it easier to ship foreign goods from China and other countries into North America. It became so unpopular in Texas that the Texas portion of it, called the Trans-Texas Corridor, was renamed and mostly disbanded a couple of years ago. Perry was the only gubernatorial candidate in 2006 of four major candidates who supported it. Even the Democratic candidate opposed it.

Perry’s campaign website lists the Trans-Texas Corridor as one of his accomplishments, “Rather than taking decades to expand these important corridors a little bit at a time, Governor Perry developed the Trans-Texas Corridor plan.” But is it something Perry really wants broadcast as an achievement? The Texas Republican Party’s 2010 platform includes a plank specifically opposing the Trans-Texas Corridor. Some of the opposition to the NAFTA Superhighway has been dismissed as conspiratorial, but loud objections also came from people concerned with border security and one million rural interests and farmers that stood to lose their land to eminent domain.

Construction of the Trans-Texas Corridor began in 2007. Perry received substantial campaign contributions from the companies expected to benefit from the construction, Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transport and Zachry Construction Company. Cintra is a Spanish-owned company that would own the toll roads. This arrangement has been accused of being a hidden tax payable to a foreign corporation. Zachry was selected by the Texas Department of Transportation to construct the Trans-Texas Corridor. Perry initially opposed efforts by the Texas legislature to impede the construction, vetoing several bills. As opposition increased, the legislature was finally able to repeal the section of the Transportation code dealing with the Trans-Texas Corridor and pass an eminent domain bill protecting property. The TTC-35 project, a privately built multi-lane toll road, railway and utility line network that was to run parallel to Interstate Highway 35, was canceled. Perry finally backed down in the 2010 Republican primary for governor running against Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and opposed construction of the TTC-35.

Full article here

Fiacco Lies on a Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & an Inland Port

Veering ever-so slightly off my no nukes agenda to slip in an I told you so.  Mayor Fiacco would not reveal the plans for this before the municipal election and now that he is safely back in office he can reveal his real plan.  Today P’n’P learns of the plan for a Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port which is part of the NAFTA Highway, the Security and Prosperity Agreement, the ecological devastation called the Tar Sands, and North American Union.

This gateway involves moving the rails from central Regina to the west side where industrial development is taking place and will likely increase dramatically without our approval.  It will increase land and air traffic which means more air and noise pollution.  It will move us closer to BushCo’s & HarperCo’s dreams of not only continental unity but also a continental currency.  At a time when we need to be doing our utmost to curb green house gas emissions, our City is promoting increased consumption and an increased use of fossil fuels!

Thanks for what amounts to lies, Mayor Pat, and for selling us out to the corporatist extremists. We’ll see you at the polls in less than two years.  And we will remember.

Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port

Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port

The Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port, or “Prairie Gateway” is a virtual combination of services and a cluster of numerous transportation, distribution and assembly players working and investing together. This is the best way to maximize the existing transportation assets across an integrated region, with many transportation, production, storage, trans-loading, assembly, product identification and research resources working as a team. This base will draw additional investment, labour and technology as a catalyst for a host of new ancillary business service companies.

What is an Inland Port?

An Inland Port is defined less on the physical aspects of one location and more on the intelligent logistics and coordination of a multitude of services.  It has the following qualities:

  1. Is an organization or coalition made up of key transportation stakeholders
  2. Serves the regional trading area businesses and economy
  3. Facilitates growth for both import and export trade logistics
  4. A mechanism for cooperation, marketing the regions trade processing abilities
  5. Provides national coordination and collaboration among ocean port users

Why Saskatchewan?

Like the Kansas City Smart Port regional model, the Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port will be anchored by “connecting” the three major cities of Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Regina. This will promote regional asset and system optimization. It is proposed that Saskatchewan’s central continental location and lower costs would be of sufficient appeal to attract international investor attention. The high level of cooperation among the principal transportation centres of Saskatchewan, through the tri-cities will generate distinct advantages, including:

  1. Integrate and maximize the unique sub-regional advantages of each community to generate even greater synergies than each community could achieve by working separately;
  2. Provide a value-enhancing alternative to the various less coordinated and smaller scale and scope terminals, hubs or trans-loading sites existing in other parts of Canada;
  3. Foster freight movement productivity through modernization of regulatory reform (i.e. highway road weight limits) and preservation of freight-corridor efficiency on road, rail and air.

NAFTA Superhighway: Fact or Myth

Updated to add this story, North American Union Drivers License Created  which quite nicely fits with this piece I posted last night.

As a means of maintaining my sanity, I have been trying to focus my blogging on the uranium issue. But this, from the Financial Post, just begs for a response (and the two issues are probably interconnected, if you dig deeply enough).

Anyway, the President of the NASCO SuperCorridor is so desperate to keep that project separate from NAFTA that he has had to denounce people like me. Apparently, by linking NAFTA and the NASCO SuperCorridor, I am perpetrating a myth. I think he is trying out a new adaptation of a trick the former Saskatchewan Tory cabinet minister and convicted murderer, Colin Thatcher, used: deny, deny, deny.

 

Highway myths

Fringe Groups Cultivate The Myth Of A Planned ‘NAFTA Superhighway,’ Diverting Attention From The Crumbling Highways That Already Exist

George Blackwood, Financial Post

Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Well, if he and the Financial Post say so, then by gosh and by golly, it must be true!

Interestingly, there is a letter on a listserv archive which calls said highway the NAFTA Superhighway. That letter is dated June 1998.

My heartiest congratulations go out to the North America's Superhighway
Coalition, its Board of Directors

There is another letter just a little further down on the same archive page:

        Dear Fellow Former Colleagues at David A. Dean & Associates/Dean

International, Inc.         Founding Consultants to the North America's Superhighway Coalition, formerly

known as

        The Interstate Highway 35 Corridor Coalition

Now really, what’s a girl to think? Especially when she reads further in that letter and sees this:

the trade corridor program was funded with $700
million in Contract Authority (these are "real dollars" as opposed to a
simple authorization which must go through the appropriations process).

        The I-35 corridor is the strongest and most organized of the corridor
initiatives so, if we play our cards right, we stand to get a part of the $700
million.

One has to wonder if Mr. Blackwell is more concerned about his own pocketbook than he is about what is best for the citizens in each of the countries involved in this project. How stupid do they really think we are?

Hmm…we have the NAFTA Superhighway head honcho, the President of the United States of America, and Prime Minister Harper all in some kind of deny, deny, deny mode since their love-in in Montebello. Kinda makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Transporting uranium

So, transporting uranium is safe, eh?  And they want to do more of it…

Semi hauling uranium oxide hits ditch after collision

The StarPhoenix  Monday, June 25, 2007

 

Two people were sent to hospital following a two-vehicle collision Saturday morning at the intersection of Highway 11 and Highway 15 near Kenaston.

Around 10:30 a.m., Hanley RCMP responded to an accident involving a car travelling eastbound along Highway 15 that was struck by a semi travelling southbound on Highway 11. The semi left the road and drove into the ditch at the southeast corner of the intersection. The female driver of the car and the male driver of the semi were taken to hospital with undetermined injuries.

RCMP say the semi was transporting uranium oxide, but the material did not leak from the truck. A hazardous materials company was called in to assist with the removal of the vehicle from the scene.

Traffic was reduced to one southbound lane on Highway 11 while emergency crews worked. Traffic returned to normal by 5 p.m.

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2007

NAFTA superhighway heads north

First there was the North America SuperCorridor Coalition Inc. website to keep an eye on with their plan for the great transportation corridor from Mexico to Canada’s North, to speed up North American Union.  That plan is  moving forward full speed in the USA.  And now there’s another website to watch, the Ports-To-Plains Trade Corridor.

NAFTA superhighway heads north


Posted: June 21, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

 

The Texas Department of Transportation, or TxDOT, is now moving to apply its four-football-fields-wide NAFTA superhighway plan of building new train-truck-car-pipeline corridors to the states of Oklahoma and Colorado in a design that stretches from the Mexican border at Laredo, Texas, to Denver, Colo.

The concept is for the states of Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado to apply the TTC toll road concept first developed by TxDOT for the more urban routes parallel to Interstate 35 (TTC-35) and along the route of Interstate 69 (TTC-69) into the largely rural areas along the Ports-to-Plains Corridor, creating what TxDOT calls “Rural Trans-Texas Corridors.”

To advance this plan, the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor Coalition, a trade association sponsored by the consulates of Mexico and Canada, along with the TxDOT and the Colorado Department of Transportation, is co-sponsoring a “Great Plains 2007” international conference scheduled to be held at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Denver Sept. 19-21, 2007.

US official lies re: NAFTA corridor?

I wonder if the U.S. government has trained their officials in telling lies. Either that, or they keep their Undersecretaries locked in dungeons.

World Net News reports that a US Department of Transportation official, Jeff Shane, told a US House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure that the North American SuperCorridor, aka the NAFTA Highway, is an “Internet conspiracy” and an urban legend.”

I suppose, then, that the NASCO Corridor website must be part of the conspiracy and that of the Trans-Texas Corridor must also be part of it. And, those I’ve referenced in numerous posts here at P’n’P, the boards of directors as well as numerous government and business officials from Canada, the USA, and Mexico, must be the conspirators.

THE NEW WORLD DISORDER
Plan for superhighway
ripped as ‘urban legend’

Congressman, DOT undersecretary disagree over threat to sovereignty


Posted: January 26, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com


Jeffrey N. Shane, undersecretary for DOT

Congressmen and a policy official of the Department of Transportation engaged in a spirited exchange over whether NAFTA Super Highways were a threat to U.S. sovereignty or an imaginary “Internet conspiracy,” such as the “black helicopter myths,” advanced by fringe lunatics. At a meeting Wednesday of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Jeffrey N. Shane, undersecretary of transportation for policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation, testified.

During the questioning by committee members, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, asked Shane about the existence of plans for a “NAFTA superhighway.”

Shane responded he was “not familiar with any plan at all, related to NAFTA or cross-border traffic.”

After further questioning by Poe, Shane stated reports of NAFTA superhighways or corridors were “an urban legend.”

At this, the chairman, Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., questioned aloud whether Shane was just “gaming semantics” when responding to Poe’s question.

“Mr. Shane was either blissfully ignorant or he may have been less than candid with the committee,” Poe told WND in a telephone interview.

Lockheed Martin, China, & the NAFTA Highway

I’ve been following this North American SuperCorridor Coalition, Inc thing for a few months now and it continues to become more and more interesting.  It seems that now the Chinese are getting into it, too!  They have ownership in U.S. cargo monitors through a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin.

What I learned from the article below is that Hutchinson Whampoa (about whom I’ve written before and with whom our Premier and Minister of Industry & Resources have met) and Savi Technologies, a Lockheed Martin Company have hooked up.  Hutchinson Whampoa, Ltd. is the holding company of billionaire Li Ka-shing. Lockheed Martin is the biggest player in the military industrial complex, and was a key player onboard the Superhighway organization.  William N. (Nick) Steele, the President of Lockheed Martin Sygenex, Inc. was once  a Board Member of NASCO (but has since disappeared from the NASCO web pages.  I’m certain some capable blog reader will find that old page hiding somewhere.)

So, it makes one wonder if this project is simply another that will line the already overstuffed pockets of those running the corporate world…

Chinese have ownership in U.S. cargo monitors
Firm tied to communist regime involved in deal to set up high-tech sensors


Posted: December 7, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

A Chinese company with close ties to the communist government owns 49 percent of the Lockheed Martin subsidiary that is negotiating a contract with the North American SuperCorridor Coalition, Inc. – the Dallas-based trade association – to place cargo monitoring sensors along as superhighway stretching from Mexico to Canada.

China’s Hutchinson Port Holdings entered into a $50 million joint venture in 2005 with Savi Technology, a Lockheed Martin wholly-owned subsidiary, to form a new company called Savi Networks LLC. Savi Technology owns 51 percent and Hutchinson Port Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Chinese holding company Hutchinson Whampoa Limited, holds the rest.

Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Leslie Holoweiko confirmed to WND that Savi Networks LLC is the company named in the contract currently being negotiated with NASCO to provide cargo sensors all along the NASCO I-35 super-corridor. If successfully negotiated, the contract would appear to give Hutchinson Holdings operational involvement all along the emerging I-35 NAFTA superhighway. Hutchinson Holdings also operates the port at Lázaro Cárdenas, Mexico.

It’s just all so interesting, isn’t it?  Read the full article.

& still more on NAFTA Hiway

I’ve noticed a recent upsurge in visitors to my NAFTA Highway posts so it must be time to add some new information to the growing body. The following piece seems to have taken a while to get out. It’s a very interesting piece. I’ll leave it to Canadian lawyers to let me know if anything like eminent domain exists in Canada.

Firm Will Use Eminent Domain To Grab Land For NAFTA Super Highway

Posted On: Sun, 2006-08-27 01:29 by MichaelVail

Posted: Aug 26, 2006

CIOB International Construction ReviewBut a corridor of this overall width – maybe as much as 360 m – has alarmed people who stand forced to surrender property in land and buildings to the project. This concern has been sharpened by the disclosure that, citing a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the developers intend to exercise the principle of ‘eminent domain‘ in land acquisition proceedings on the grounds that they are acting as agents of a public authority.

The developers apparently believe that such rights, once established in Texas, could then be applied across the entire 6,500 km length of the NAFTA highway. Whether that proves to be so depends on the outcome of any challenge that might be launched against such a claim.

The Cintra-Zachry partnership is however in a strong position because they have already secured an agreement granting them the right to develop the new highway in Texas. They have also put money down for the privilege.

The first concession within the Trans-Texas Corridor has already been awarded to Cintra. According to a statement by parent company Ferrovial, construction is expected to start early in 2007 once environmental and other permits have been obtained. …

Cintra’s partner for the five-year road building programme is the San Antonio-based contractor Zachry Construction Corp, but Ferrovial’s construction company Agroman is getting a share in the business.

Zachry joined with Cintra in a scheme to provide private investment worth $6 billion. The assignment is to design, build and operate a four-lane toll road covering the 500 km distance between Dallas and San Antonio, bypassing the State capital at Austin.

For this concession Cintra is paying the State of Texas $1.2 billion. It gives them the right to build and operate this initial segment of the intended Trans-Texas Corridor.

This would be part of the ‘super-highway’ spanning the United States from the Mexican border at Laredo, making its way through Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma and connecting with the Canadian highway system north of Duluth, Minnesota.

Because it would provide a connection all the way between Canada and Mexico, the project is also described as the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) super highway.

Cintra has also recently taken over management of the Indiana Toll Road (ITR) after paying $3.8 billion to the State’s finance authority for the transfer of the asset. In a 50:50 consortium with the Australian bank Macquarie, Cintra now has charge of this 250 km highway which links Chicago with the eastern seaboard of the United States.

The concession will run over 75 years.

The company commented: “The project reinforces Cintra’s presence in the U.S., a strategic market for the company: it has a 99-year concession to operate the Chicago Skyway ($1.83 billion) which links with the Indiana Toll Road, and it is a strategic partner of the State of Texas for 50 years to develop the Trans-Texas Corridor, one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the United States.”

Vote CCFR in Regina

Vote for progress that considers people before profits.  Vote CCFR!


There is a better way…Vote CCFR on October 25th

In many ways, the Coalition for a Citizen-Friendly Regina has already succeeded – we’ve sparked a genuine debate about the choices we face, and about what sort of city we’d like to build. But the outcome of the municipal and school board elections on Wednesday, October 25 is incredibly important. Regina citizens can make a positive difference. Vote

Ten extremely qualified CCFR candidates are seeking your support, and a
number of the races are sure to be extremely close – 200, 100, even 20 votes
could tip the balance one way or the other. Your vote matters.

Even just two or three CCFR victories will ensure that voices of reason will
be able to make themselves heard in the next city council and public school board.

Polls are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 25. For information on where to vote visit the City of Regina election web page.

Encourage others to vote

Call three close friends and ask them if they’re planning on voting. Tell
them how you’ll be voting, and why. Encourage them to vote. If they don’t
have transportation, offer to drive them to the poll.

Celebrate with us

After the polls close on Wednesday evening, come out to the Exchange (2431 8th Ave.)  to join with other CCFR members to relax and celebrate our many victories.


More NAFTA Corridor & Deep Integration

Oh, the NAFTA Corridor and the deepening of North American integration certainly provide opportunities for learning. And it’s always exciting when there’s a local, provincial, or national connection. Here are three excerpts from articles that caught my attention.

1) In the Washington Times is a very interesting commentary by William Hawkins, a Republican and a senior fellow for national security studies at the U.S. Business and Industry Council. He tells exactly what the SuperCorridor will do.

NAFTA highway or new silk road?

By William Hawkins
September 24, 2006

On Sept. 7, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), a government office established in March to increase cooperation between the United States, Canada and Mexico, released a progress report. Among its achievements was creation of an American Competitiveness Council to enhance North America’s posture in the struggle for hotly contested global markets.

Unfortunately, major events are already unfolding that will undermine this belated attempt to respond to ambitious rivals who have been piling up ever-higher trade surpluses at the expense of American-based enterprises.

[W]hat is really behind this transportation network heralds the collapse of NAFTA and its dream of a stronger continental economy. NAFTA was supposed to combine cheap Mexican labor with U.S. capital and technology to improve competition with Asian rivals. C. Fred Bergsten and Jeffrey Schott, of the Institute for International Economics, testified to Congress in 1997: “We wanted to shift imports from other countries to Mexico — since our imports from Mexico include more U.S. content and because Mexico spends much more of its export earnings on imports from the United States than do, say, the East Asian countries.”

Imports from Mexico grew rapidly in the 1990s on this model, but that is not what drives activity now. Today, the massive wave of imports from Asia is clogging West Coast ports and sending shippers and retailers searching for new routes to bring even more foreign products into the United States. Container ship traffic from China is growing by 15 percent a year. Between 2003 and 2005, annual imports from China rose by $92.2 billion, and from other parts of Asia by $41.0 billion.

The final terminus of the planned transport network is the Kansas City, Mo., SmartPort. Its Web site proclaims, “The idea of receiving containers nonstop from the Far East by way of Mexico may sound unlikely, but… that seemingly far-fetched notion will become a reality.”

The Chinese firm Hutchison Whampoa has partnered with Wal-Mart in a $300 million expansion of Lazaro Cardenas to handle perhaps 2 million containers annually by the end of the decade. The American Chamber of Commerce in Guangdong, China, has held seminars promoting this Mexican port. Punta Colonet, about 150 miles south of Tijuana, is also eyed for expansion to offload millions of additional containers filled with Asian imports. Kansas City Southern railway has bought the Mexican rail links and the State of Texas is negotiating with a Spanish firm to build a corridor of toll roads from the border heading north.

While American-based manufacturers will continue to suffer under the barrage of Chinese goods, Mexican industry will be smashed flat by what should be called a new Silk Road rather than a NAFTA highway. The economic development goals of NAFTA are being abandoned.

More than 600 of the maquiladoras assembly plants along the U.S.-Mexican border have relocated to China, leaving their Mexican workers behind. There is little chance for Mexican wages to rise if at $1.50 an hour they can be undercut by Chinese labor at 50 cents an hour. NAFTA was to be a way to lift Mexicans out of poverty and stem illegal immigration to America. A similar argument was made last year about the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). As South Carolina Republican Rep. Bob Inglis said during that floor debate, “I stand here convinced that it is the best strategy available to combine with our neighbors to the south to compete with the Chinese.”

The new transport plans make a mockery of these arguments, as they are aimed purely at helping China improve its competitive advantage over all North and Central American rivals. What is being built is truly a “Highway of Death” for both NAFTA and CAFTA. The resulting regional turmoil will be felt in the United States.

I know Premier Calvert and Minister Eric Cline had an ‘economic mission’ to China last fall. And I know they talked with Chinese officials about Saskatchewan’s uranium industry, too. But I didn’t discover, until just now, that they met with Hutchison Whampoa, Wal-Mart’s partners. I mean, do they believe we really need more plastic?

2) CNW Group has a story about the Native American Energy Group ‘s belief that the NAFTA SuperCorridor will benefit their company, and by extent, I suppose, their people.

Attention Business Editors, Energy Editors:

NAFTA ”Super- Highway”Catalyst to NAEG Growth — Company Receives Proposal to Manage New Oil Refinery

FOREST HILLS, N.Y., September 27 /CNW/ – Native American Energy Group,
Inc. (the “Company” or “NAEG”) (OTC Pink Sheets: NVMG) is a publicly traded,
independent energy company that, in Aug 2006, announced its initial oil and
natural gas production on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in northeast
Montana. The Company announced today that prevailing international, state and
local trends favor a more robust energy and economic environment in Montana,
especially in the Northeast quadrant, and this, it says is helping to maximize
economic development opportunities for NAEG already. Specifically, the
proposed NAFTA “Superhighway” or “International Mid-Continent Trade and
Transportation Corridor” as it has been called by the media that is to run
through N.E. Montana and that is designed to connect Mexico, Canada, and the
U.S. into one transportation system is being seen as a definite catalyst to the Company’s growth.

Seems to me that it’s more of a divide and rule kind of ploy.

3) There are days I cringe at what WorldNetDaily posts, but this caught my eye. The indoctrination of the ‘new leaders of tomorrow’ continues:

The New World Disorder
N. American students trained for ‘merger’
10 universities participate in ‘model Parliament’ in Mexico to simulate ‘integration’ of 3 nations
Posted: September 25, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com


WASHINGTON – In another example of the way the three nations of North America are being drawn into a federation, or “merger,” students from 10 universities in the U.S., Mexico and Canada are participating annually in a simulated “model Parliament.”

Under the sponsorship of the Canadian based North American Forum on Integration, students met in the Mexican Senate for five days in May in an event dubbed “Triumvirate,” with organizers declaring “A North American Parliament is born.”

A similar event took place in the Canadian Senate in 2005.

The intentions of organizers are clear.

“The creation of a North American parliament, such as the one being simulated by these young people, should be considered,” explained Raymond Chretien, the president of the Triumvirate and the former Canadian ambassador to both Mexico and the U.S.

Just what we need, eh? More leaders to sell us out