"I would like you [of the press] to understand the magnitude of what this means. It is transcendent, it's something that goes well beyond the relationship we have had up to now." -President Vicente Fox, regarding NAFTA Plus, onboard the presidential plane returning to Mexico from George W. Bush's Crawford ranch, March 2005.1
NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) has been in effect almost 12 years and a new stage, NAFTA Plus, is in the works, referred to as "deep integration," particularly in Canada. The elites of the three NAFTA countries (Canada, the United States, and Mexico) have been aggressively moving forward to build a new political and economic entity. A "trinational merger" is underway that leaps beyond the single market that NAFTA envisioned and, in many ways, would constitute a single state, called simply, "North America." ...
Natural Resources - Part of the Picture
Security for the United States goes beyond territorial or military considerations and encompasses strategic natural resources. First on the list are oil, gas, and water. In an unusually candid moment, in response to a question by the press, Bush declared that Canada's water was part of the United States' energy security.29 Water is being consumed in many parts of the United States at unsustainable rates. One notable example is the Ogallala aquifer located in the mid-west, one of the biggest in the world, presently being consumed 14 times faster than it can be replenished by rain.
Consequently the United States has proposed "mega-projects" in the recent past that would permit the bulk transfer of water from Canada. One project, "Grand Canal," would transport the plentiful water from Canadian rivers and lakes to the Great Lakes where, on the U.S. side, millions of gallons would be fed through canals and pipes to the increasingly thirsty mid-West states. Another mega-project, the North American Water and Power Authority, would redirect water from rivers in British Columbia and the Yukon to a huge crater in the Rocky Mountains where, again on the U.S. side, it would be taken for increasingly parched western and Mid-west states.30
Under NAFTA Plus and the dismantling of borders, it would be difficult or impossible for Canada to prevent the transfer of water or other natural resources through trade transactions with the United States.
Oil too figures into American security concerns. Since NAFTA's start, and particularly since the first American invasion of the Persian Gulf, the United States' neighbors have become its principal suppliers of oil, natural gas, and electricity, with Canada in first place and Mexico in second.
Graph no. 131 reveals Canada's importance in American strategic projections regarding oil. Canada has relatively little oil if conventional reserves are considered-4.4 billion barrels. But if non-conventional reserves are considered, such as its plentiful tar sands in Alberta, Canada jumps to number three in the petroleum world, with some 312 billions barrels, overtaking Saudi Arabia. Only Iraq and Venezuela top Canada in terms of actual and potential reserves.
For the United States, then, only too aware of the difficulties of controlling access to petroleum reserves in the Middle East, the notion of creating a single North American space with its neighbors and thus guaranteeing a relatively cheap flow of oil-in economic, political, and military terms-suddenly wasn't so ludicrous.
Notwithstanding its present sizable reserves, Mexico lacks a future as an oil producer, especially when compared to Canada, and especially if, under a NAFTA Plus scenario, its oil reserves are openly or covertly privatized and subjected to U.S. security concerns. Within a U.S. security perimeter, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for the Mexican government to dispose of its reserves for purposes that run adrift of American strategic concerns. In the run-up to the war against Iraq in 2003, Mexico "acceded" to increasing its oil exports to the United States, from 1.2 million barrels to 1.6 million per day (a 30% increase) when Mexico has no more than 10-12 years of proven oil reserves.32
In addition to oil, Mexico has abundant natural gas, is home to some of the most important reserves of biodiversity in the world, and in the state of Chiapas and its Central American neighbors, possesses the most important fresh water reserve between the Ogallala aquifer and the Amazon River basin in Brazil. As in Canada, NAFTA Plus' harmonization of "best practices" to American standards will mean opening all sectors to market forces, making it impossible to set aside Mexican natural resources through government action. ...
Theres much more of interest in this essay, see the original for rest of text and figures.