BORDERLESS Continent by the end of Bush term?

Joint Statement by President Bush, President Fox, and Prime Minister Martin, Waco, Texas, publixhed by Mexidata, March 23, 2005

Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPPNA)

We, the elected leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, have met in Texas to announce the establishment of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.

Over the past decade, our three nations have taken important steps to expand economic opportunity for our people and to create the most vibrant and dynamic trade relationship in the world. Since September 11 2001, we have also taken significant new steps to address the threat of terrorism and to enhance the security of our people.

But much still remains to be done. In a rapidly changing world, we must develop new avenues of cooperation that will make our open societies safer and more secure, our businesses more competitive, and our economies more resilient.

Our Partnership will accomplish these objectives through a trilateral effort to increase the security, prosperity, and quality of life of our citizens. This work will be based on the principle that our security and prosperity are mutually dependent and complementary, and will reflect our shared belief in freedom, economic opportunity, and strong democratic values and institutions. It will also help consolidate our efforts within a North American framework, to meet security and economic challenges, and promote the full potential of our people, by reducing regional disparities and increasing opportunities for all.

Our Partnership is committed to achieving outstanding results in order to enhance the security and well-being of our people. The Partnership is trilateral in concept; while allowing any two countries to move forward on an issue, it will create a path for the third to join later.

Advancing our Common Security

We will establish a common approach to security to protect North America from external threats, prevent and respond to threats within North America, and further streamline the secure and efficient movement of legitimate, low-risk traffic across our shared borders. As part of our efforts, we will:

Implement common border security and bio-protection strategies;

Enhance critical infrastructure protection, and implement a common approach to emergency response;

Implement improvements in aviation and maritime security, combat transnational threats, and enhance intelligence partnerships; and

Implement a border facilitation strategy to build capacity and improve the legitimate flow of people and cargo across our shared borders.

Advancing our Common Prosperity

We will work to enhance North American competitiveness and improve the quality of life of our people. Among other things, we will:

Improve productivity through regulatory cooperation to generate growth, while maintaining high standards for health and safety;

Promote sectoral collaboration in energy, transportation, financial services, technology, and other areas to facilitate business; and invest in our people;

Reduce the costs of trade through the efficient movement of goods and people; and

Enhance the preservation of our environment, create a safer and more reliable food supply while facilitating agricultural trade, and protect our people from disease.

Next Steps

We will establish working parties led by our ministers and secretaries that will consult with stakeholders in our respective countries. These working parties will respond to the priorities of our people and our businesses, and will set specific, measurable, and achievable goals. They will outline concrete steps that our governments can take to meet these goals, and set dates that will ensure the continuous achievement of results.

Within 90 days, ministers will present their initial report after which, the working parties will submit six-monthly reports. Because the Partnership will be an ongoing process of cooperation, new items will be added to the work agenda by mutual agreement as circumstances warrant.

Through this Partnership, we will ensure that North America remains the most economically dynamic region in the world and a secure home for our people in this and future generations.

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