The move toward a North American Union received another big boost last week as President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met in Washington, D.C. to hammer out a deal on creating a common “perimeter” around the two countries while diminishing the role of the nations’ shared border and developing a biometric system to track North Americans.
The two leaders, touting the plan as a move toward security and prosperity, signed a four-page declaration supposedly committing the two countries to working together on a wide range of issues. According to news reports, the final agreement was the product of many months of work.
The meeting also resulted in the creation of a “Beyond the Border Working Group,” which will be charged with the declaration’s implementation and with reporting to the U.S. President and the Canadian Prime Minister in the next few months and on a regular basis after that.
“Security” and “prosperity” were, as usual, two of the main focuses. “To preserve and extend the benefits our close relationship has helped bring to Canadians and Americans alike, we intend to pursue a perimeter approach to security, working together within, at, and away from the borders of our two countries to enhance our security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods, and services between our two countries,” the declaration states. It also praises the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
“We intend to work together in cooperation and partnership to develop, implement, manage, and monitor security initiatives, standards, and practices to fulfill our vision,” the document notes, without a reference to the legislatures of either nation.