Lawmaker assails trade accord - He says deal may lead to elimination of borders

By Bob Bernick Jr. and Deborah Bulkeley, Deseret Morning News, January 17, 2007

A freshman conservative legislator says the United States should get out of a North American trade and security agreement before the countries morph into a European Union-type organization that could take away some of the United States' sovereignty.

Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Provo, has introduced HCR7, which asks Congress to withdraw from, or at least take oversight control of, a 2005 agreement that was signed by President Bush and the leaders of Mexico and Canada.

While at first glance the "Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America" may seem harmless, said Sandstrom, it could lead "to the elimination of our borders" in the name of free trade.

"It could well perpetrate our illegal immigrant problem. We could end up like the EU, even have a common currency," he said....

However, Joe Reyna, chairman of the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,...said the SPP agreement is beneficial to the United States, particularly when it comes to security provisions, which include sharing intelligence on terrorism.

"It creates a partnership, an agreement to protect our borders so the flow of goods and services runs without any interruption," he said. "You cannot have trade without security."...

Alex Segura, head of the anti-illegal immigration group Utah Minuteman Project, agrees with Sandstrom.

"It's a very scary thing that they are doing this without the consent of the American public," Segura said. "It's to create commerce ... even at the price of community."

Segura admits that it may seem far fetched that the United States would join a European Union style commerce organization, but he says the nation is heading toward open borders for people and goods.

"I just hope they'll take (Sandstrom's) bill and look at it seriously," Segura said.

The resolution goes on to say: "Whereas, the gradual creation of such a North American Union from a merger of the United States, Mexico, and Canada would be a direct threat to the United States Constitution and the national independence of the United States and would imply an eventual end to national borders within North America."

"At least the Congress should take a vote on this it has never gone to it," Sandstrom said....

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