Stop CANAMEX, Stop the Intermountain West Corridor and I-11! Stop the Sun Corridor! Stop the 202!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The CANAMEX Sun Corridor, the Basics Part 2

What is the Sun Corridor? This is a concept of the area from Phoenix to Tucson (or from Prescott to Nogales) as a "megapolitan" or "megaregion," basically a huge city or set of cities connected by transportation, and with a much higher concentration of people than currently.  It is often discussed as part of CANAMEX.  The growth and development is imagined as a result of increased freight traffic through the area due to international trade. See Megapolitan in a Mega-Drought? A Guide to the Sun Corridor for much more information.

 The Loop 202 is part of the Sun Corridor and part of CANAMEX.  Even if the Loop 202 extension is not considered part of the official CANAMEX Corridor, it is clear that it would serve to facilitate trade.

If you oppose the Tar Sands, you oppose CANAMEX.  The CANAMEX Corridor would run through Alberta, near where the Tar Sands are.  It is not to be confused with a pipeline, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline which would also run from the Tar Sands through the U.S.  The transportation corridor would instead facilitate the movement of people, supplies, equipment, etc. to the Tar Sands (including temporary labor, i.e. guest workers), and other trade to and from Canada.

Understanding NAFTA: 

From the perspective of the ruling class, the North America Free Trade Accord (NAFTA), signed on January 1, 1994, is the defining legal structure for future United States economic relations with the rest of Latin America. NAFTA integrates the economies of Mexico, the United States and Canada by eliminating most trade and investment controls over a 10-year period, with some agricultural tariffs phased out over 15 years. NAFTA builds on the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement signed in 1988.

  • NAFTA provides for the strongest intellectual property rights (patents, copyrights, and trademarks) in any bilateral or international agreement. This is particularly favorable for US-based high tech, pharmaceutical and entertainment companies.
  • Prior to NAFTA, Mexico could review all foreign investment proposals to determine if they were in the national interest. NAFTA abolishes this right.
  • NAFTA prevents governments at all levels from giving preference to procurement from local suppliers or promoting local-content provisions.
  • NAFTA provides for expedited travel visas for businesspersons wishing to travel between the US and Mexico, but makes no provisions for working class people wishing to travel.
  • NAFTA eliminates equity and market share restrictions for financial services such as insurance, banking and securities.
  • Under Chapter 11 provisions, NAFTA permits investors to sue host governments before secret panels made up of trade experts, who are prohibited from considering national laws or traditions in forming their decisions. Deliberations are carried out in secret and civil society is prohibited from presenting testimony.
  • In preparation for signing NAFTA, the US insisted on over 300 changes in Mexico's constitution and legal structure. Perhaps the most significant was the reform of Article 27 of the constitution, ending land distribution to campesinos under the ejido program.
After a decade of NAFTA, the results are obvious - corporations have benefited handsomely while the working class on both sides of the border suffers declining living standards. NAFTA has been nothing short of a disaster, yet it is proudly trumpeted by the ruling class as the blueprint for the Free Trade Area of the Americas, a proposed (and ultimately failed) trade agreement that would have included every nation in the hemisphere except Cuba.

CANAMEX would not provide more jobs.  Just as NAFTA failed North American workers in general, so will its trade corridors.  The corridors allow for more imports of products made in Mexico (at very low wages) as well as from Asia (for even lower wages).  Promoters of the CANAMEX and Sun Corridors promise economic prosperity due to increase in trade traffic, but it is only likely to make it hotter, more polluted, less biodiverse, or worse.

Read "Highway to Hell?" for much more information and cited sources.
Also see "Basics Part 1".

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