John McCain met with President Felipe Calderon of Mexico on Thursday (07/03/08) to discuss immigration and free trade. He had just given President Uribe his support for the Columbia Free Trade Agreement with the U.S.
McCain spoke out “this week in favor of the North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico and the proposed Columbia Free Trade deal currently stalled in Congress. On Wednesday, he said as president he might pursue a possible free trade agreement that would cover the Western Hemisphere.” He intends to complete the dream of George Bush and Vicente Fox of a Free Trade Area of the Western Hemisphere (FTAA), complete with a common currency. (This blog, archive, 10/12/07,”Vicente Fox Declares support…”)
And McCain never saw an immigration amnesty bill he didn’t like. In fact, he helped write one in 2005, the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, S. 1033. Senator Barack Obama was a cosponsor of the bill. (also known as the Kennedy-McCain amnesty bill)
The bill (never passed) would have given amnesty to as many as 20 million illegals plus provide for securing Mexico’s borders, including its southern border with Guatemala and Belize. That would have been a big step in providing for the merger of North America.
But it’s no longer necessary since the Merida Initiative, H.R. 6028, agreed to by Calderon and Bush, was passed by the House and appears likely to pass the Senate. It will serve the same purpose as S. 1033. See the blog, archives, 06/07/08, “George Bush, Condoleezza Rice: Last try at Merging North America.”
McCain supports (reluctantly) increasing security at the border with Mexico (he can no longer ignore the growing problem) but he doesn’t want the fence that was approved by Congress. Instead, he prefers a “virtual fence” along the border and around the perimeter of North America. This virtual fence is a part of previous unsuccessful comprehensive immigration bills.
He has agreed to support the real fence, though, since public opinion (voters) said they wanted it. According to Todd S. Purdum in Vanity Fair, Feb. 2007, McCain said:
“By the way, I think the fence is least effective. But I’ll build the g–damned fence if they want it.” See this blog, archives, Feb. 3, 2008, “John McCain: Latinos, Open Borders and North America.”
Council on Foreign Relations member McCain has said a number of times that he will integrate the Western Hemisphere (economically, as a start) if elected president. In a speech on June 20, 2007:
“Let’s start by ratifying the trade agreements with Panama, Peru, and Columbia that are already completed, and pushing forward the Free Trade Area of the Americas.”
The FTAA would be an “economic” integration of the 34 nations (minus Cuba) of the Western Hemisphere. It would be run by trade bureaucracies and FTAA insitutions, essentially a government for the trading region. (Following in the steps of the European Union)
It would exercise sovereignty over every member nation. The FTAA Draft expresses it clearly:
Article 4: Application and Scope of Obligations
[4.1 Each Party is fully responsible for the observance of all provisions of the FTAA Agreement, and shall take such reasonable measures as may be available to it to insure such observance by regional and local governments and authorities within its territory.] (Photo: FTAA logo)
[4.2 The Parties shall insure that their laws, regulations, and administrative procedures are consistent with the obligations of this Agreement. The rights and obligations under this Agreement are the same for all the Parties[, whether Federal or unitary States, including the different levels and branches of government], unless otherwise provided in this Agreement.]
(All levels of government in the United States, including local and state, must defer to the FTAA agreement and change their laws, regulations, etc. if they are not in accord with it. The Free Trade Area of the Americas would be exercising sovereignty over the United States. And as the power of the FTAA grows, so would its sovereignty.)
Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida, met with McCain in Mexico. Governor Bush has, in the past, lobbied for the headquarters (secretariat) of the FTAA to be established in Miami since it was an international city and would fit in well with Latin America. This would be the equivalent of Brussels, the de facto capital of the European Union. (Photo: Jeb Bush and McCain in Mexico)
A Free Trade Area of the Americas means that Americans would have to compete with 800 million citizens of the Western Hemisphere for jobs. That’s a lot of cheap labor. And American corporations can shop around for cheaper labor, then pick up and leave, destroying the economy of the area they just abandoned.
This is what happened to Mexico, when maquiladoras (factories) set up along the Mexican-American border. It gave many desperate Mexicans jobs, although at low wages, long hours and unhealthy working conditions. American jobs were lost.
Then the corporations pulled out and went to even cheaper labor in Asia, primarily China. One corporation even made a move from a factory in Northern China to another one in the south, offering still cheaper labor. This is called the “race to the bottom”.
Transnational corporations, led by Wal-Mart and Microsoft, are working toward a mobile, cheap, temporary labor force (H-1B and other visas for Indians, Mexicans, etc.) to take the place of Americans. Then they can be competitive with the rest of the world.
America will no longer have a middle class. Your job will no longer be permanent. That scenario is now the reality in a number of corporations. A case in point is the Nielsen Company in Oldsmar, Florida, where H-1B immigrants from India are replacing American workers at cheaper salaries–after the Americans teach the immigrants how to do their job.
See “The Nielsen Company replaces Americans with H-1Bs from Tata.”
Jim Ronecker, Mayor of Oldsmar, summed up the situation quite well for all of us:
“It’s a global company. It’s not all about America anymore, and we’re right in the middle of it.”