Monday, July 20, 2009
President Obama will attend the controversial Security and Prosperity Partnership meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper next month, it has been revealed.
The White House had not responded to requests to verify Obama’s schedule during the second week of August, however, a statement from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs titled “Upcoming Travel by the President,” confirms that Obama will attend the recently re-branded
“North American Leader’s Summit” in Mexico.
“The president will travel to Guadalajara, Mexico, August 9-10 to attend the North American Leaders Summit with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper,” the announcement, reported by World Net Daily, states.
“The summit meeting will provide an opportunity for the United States, Mexico, and Canada to engage on a broad range of issues, including economic recovery and competitiveness in North America, our shared interest in energy and the environment, and cooperation among our governments to promote the safety and welfare of our citizens, including continued close cooperation to counter the A/H1N1 influenza pandemic.” the statement continues.
Last year, one month prior to the meeting in April, documents were uncovered relating the fact that heads of state of the U.S., Mexico and Canada were beseeching business leaders to launch public relations campaigns in order to counter critics of the SPP.
The documents detailed how corporate representatives were urged to “humanize” North American integration, promote NAFTA success stories to employees and unions and evolve the harmonization agenda “without fueling protectionism”.
The move was seemingly a response to the continued exposition of the integration agenda, which led to representatives within Congress petitioning the government on the secretiveness of the SPP and multiple states introducing resolutions calling on their federal representatives to halt work on the so called “North American Union”.
During his nomination campaign, Obama pledged to end the secrecy surrounding the SPP meetings and to conduct them with full transparency.
His decision to remain silent on whether or not he will even attend the meeting until just a few weeks beforehand has guaranteed advance criticism.
Critics will also cast a keen eye over Obama’s attendance given his strong worded campaign pledge to “amend” NAFTA in favor of American workers by stemming the loss of manufacturing jobs.
Since he has entered office Obama has simply reiterated the SPP’s call to advance without stoking “protectionism”. In a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, during his first official foreign visit, Obama responded to a question regarding the renegotiation of NAFTA by saying “Now is a time where we have to be very careful about any signs of protectionism.”
Eyebrows were also raised when Obama temporarily removed economist Austan Goolsbee from his staff when it was revealed that Goolsbee had told Canadian officials that Obama’s campaign promises to renegotiate NAFTA were purely campaign rhetoric.
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