The endorsement by a major city mayor of a document described as "The Declaration of North American Integration" represents a long-term effort by local governments to bypass state and federal governments and work directly with Mexico and Canada to create agreements that integrate the continent below the radar screen, charges an activist.
Adam Rott, founder of watchdog blog Oklahoma Corridor Watch, brought to light the document signed by Mayor Mick Cornett.
The document was presented at the May 2004 summit meeting of the North American International Trade Corridor Partnership, or NAITCP. According to an Internet-archived summary report of the meeting, held in Kansas City, Mo., the document was signed by 90 people.
Rott told WND he created Oklahoma Corridor Watch because, "I saw the efforts in Texas by Internet blogs such as Texas Corridor Watch and Texas Toll Party to get the word out in Texas about the Trans-Texas Corridor. I wanted to warn Oklahoma about plans to extend the Trans-Texas Corridor along Interstate 35 north into our state."
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Rott said it should be clear to everyone "that the international business interests and government officials working with them do not intend to stop the four-football-fields wide TTC-35 at the Texas border with Oklahoma."
"Oklahoma has been at work for almost 15 years to get I-35 designated as a NAFTA superhighway," Rott said. "I want to wake Oklahomans up to the reality that Oklahoma is on the front lines of the battle being waged by investment bankers, foreign investment consortia and politicians who stand to benefit to expand the TTC-35 north into Oklahoma."
WND contacted Cornett's office for comment, but the mayor did not respond.
"What is so diabolical about Cornett's signature is that it has largely remained hidden from view since 2004," Rott charged. "It is disturbing to think that councilmen and councilwomen who live in our communities are working for North American integration in the mistaken notion that globalism will result in local economic development."
Roth is skeptical of the promise North American integration holds for economic development in Oklahoma.
"What we see is the sovereignty of the U.S. being compromised at a local level, and we have yet to see where globalism has benefited Oklahoma City," he said. "Our manufacturing base is deteriorating in Oklahoma City as plants close and multinational corporations outsource from Oklahoma to get cheaper workers in international markets."
Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Randy Brogdon agrees.
Brogdon told WND he believes "the ramifications of what Oklahoma City Mayor Cornett is doing is to destroy U.S. national sovereignty and to grab property like we have never seen before."
Brogdon was outspoken in his opposition to North American integration.
"Economic development at the expense of our sovereignty is not a fair trade as far as I am concerned," he said.
On June 24, 2005, NAITCP signed a memorandum of understanding with the North America SuperCorridor Coalition, or NASCO, effectively absorbing NAITCP into NASCO. An archived NASCO webpage no longer displayed on the current NASCO website documents that NAITCP had its origin as a "non-profit organization in Mexico dedicated to economic development and improving trade relations through the heartland of America to Canada and Mexico."
NASCO also did not respond to a request for comment.
WND previously reported Brogdon entered an amendment to an Oklahoma bill that would have required that the state's Department of Transportation "shall be prohibited from participating or entering any negotiations or agreement with NASCO."
Brogdon's amendment further specified, "No state funds or federal funds dedicated for state use shall be used for any international, integrated or multi-modal transportation system."
In a series of complicated maneuvers, the bill died.
Still, Brogdon is determined to press forward against NASCO.
"In this next legislature," he said, "I am going to add amendments to legislation that will continue to require the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to get out of NASCO. We have spent $481,000 in Oklahoma since 1995 to be a member of NASCO, and we have yet to receive any benefit."
In the last legislature, Brogdon also sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 10 urging the U.S. to withdraw from the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America and any other activity that seeks to create a North American Union, and to oppose any NAFTA superhighways.
The resolution passed unanimously in voice votes in both houses of the Oklahoma legislature, Brogdon noted.
"Hopefully, he said, "the legislature is waking up to all the subversive legislation that is trying to be sneaked past us by the George Bush Security and Prosperity Partnership agenda and interests such as (Texas) Governor Perry, who has pushed TTC-35 through despite the objections of the Texas legislature."
NASCO's website adamantly rejects the idea that a North American Super Corridor could ever be a "NAFTA superhighway."
Yet, the NASCO website documents that in addition to the state of Oklahoma, the Texas Department of Transportation, or TxDOT, is a member. As fully documented on the TxDOT website, the department does plan to build a new Trans-Texas Corridor parallel to Interstate 35, and NASCO has yet to repudiate these new superhighway construction plans.
The NAITCP 2004 summit brochure initially presents the signed document, on Page 2, as the "Kansas City Declaration." Yet later, in a conference summary on the last page, the document is identified as "The Declaration of North American Integration."
The summary page notes "more than 90 North American leaders signed an important document entitled 'The Kansas City Declaration' to officially record their shared vision of future cooperation for communities along the NAFTA Trade Corridor in Canada, the United States and Mexico."
The summit brochure lists Mayor Cornett as a signatory.
Oklahoma Corridor Watch expressed concern that, "It is becoming increasingly more apparent that our government officials have been working overtime behind the scenes to bring in the "North American Union" and often in relative secrecy away from their constituents and from scrutiny."
Last month, Oklahoma House Speaker Lance Cargill brought superhighway proponent Robert Poole to Oklahoma to give presentations on the virtues of "public-private partnerships" designed to advance the interests of private investment consortia seeking to build or lease state toll roads.
Poole, a mechanical engineer who has advised the administrations of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to privatize U.S. highways, estimates more than $25 billion in public-private partnership highway projects are planned or approved in the U.S.
Among the other named signatories were two professors prominent in the push to create a "North American Community," Stephen Blank of Pace University and Robert Pastor of American University.
Blank is known for organizing the "North America Works" conferences held annually since 2005 in Kansas City. Pastor, a prolific author on the subject of North American integration, holds annually holds a student North American model parliament, an activity organized by the American Forum on Integration, of which Blank and Pastor are both directors.
Rott also documented that Cornett called for the economic integration of North America in a video interview given at the Conference of Mayors in Boston in 2004.
"This signifies how local governments across the nation are either moving forward with, or directly supporting, the economic integration of North America, also called the North American Union," Rott wrote on his blog. "While such a pursuit may seem like the stuff of conspiracy theories, it is increasingly becoming more apparent that our government, with the direct support of private sector participants, is building a union in North America comparable to the European Union."
The 2004 NAITCP "Kansas City Declaration" was also signed by Kay Barnes, then Mayor of Kansas City, Mo.; Michael Haverty, chairman and CEO of Kansas City Southern; Chris Guiterrez, president of Kansas City SmartPort; and Francisco Gil Diaz, secretary of finance and public credit in Mexico.
According to the NAITCP brochure, the Kansas City Declaration reads in part, "We have come to realize that our communities in Mexico, Canada and the United States are closely linked to each other, and that we share profoundly in this emerging North American economic system.
"The answer is to move forward together," the declaration continued. "We will deepen the ties among our communities. The economic vitality and social integration of our communities demand open, dynamic and secure borders. We encourage our respective governments to dedicate sufficient resources to create 'smart' and efficient borders. Likewise, we urge our governments to assist us in forming a 'North American Transportation and Infrastructure Committee' that will formulate a strategic vision for an integrated regional logistics system."