On February 4, 2011, in Washington D.C., with no input from citizens or their legislatures, President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper created a “North American perimeter,” and a United States-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council, composed of senior regulatory, trade, and foreign affairs officials from both governments. They agreed to a two-year mandate during which they are to work together to promote economic growth, job creation, security, and “green” technology. Constitutionally and historically, the US Senate has been involved with international treaties and agreements of this scope, yet not in this case.
The Canadian press referred to this agreement as the most significant change in U.S.-Canada relations since NAFTA. The U.S. press, on the other hand, barely mentioned it. Obama states that this agreement is necessary “to manage shared responsibilities – across and ‘beyond the border.’” When completed, this agreement will: (a) promote the free flow of trade– including goods, people, and services; (b) tighten border security using enhanced screening, “new technologies,” biometrics to track travelers, and information-sharing among law enforcement to identify “threats” early; (c) build on existing bilateral law-enforcement programs; (d) ensure a bi-national defense relationship and military support for disaster response efforts and infrastructure protection; and (e) help research, develop, and share carbon-capture technologies and renewable energy sources.
“Obama, Harper Pledge ‘Perimeter’ Border Strategy,” BBN World News, February 4, 2011 http://bbnworldnews.com/newspost/obama-harper-pledge-perimeter-border-strategy/
“U.S. & Canada Agree to Common ‘Perimeter’” Alex Newman, The New American, February 11, 2011 http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/world-mainmenu-26/north-america-mainmenu-36/6274-us-a-canada-agree-to-common-perimeter-biometric-tracking
“Obama Creates World’s First Superstate with US-Canada Merger” The European Union Times, February 8, 2011 http://www.eutimes.net/2011/02/obama-creates-worlds-first-superstate-with-us-canada-merger/
“Joint Statement by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper of Canada on Regulatory Cooperation,” The White House, February 4, 2011 http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/02/04/joint-statement-president-obama-and-prime-minister-harper-canada-regul-0
[Video] “President Obama and Prime Minister Harper Press Conference,” The White House, February 4, 2011 http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2011/02/04/president-obama-and-prime-minister-harper-press-conference
Student Researcher: Celeste Richmond, San Francisco State University
Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows, San Francisco State University