Regional Strategy Needed For North America

The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) is a “blueprint to secure North American leadership in the global economy and [it] makes North America the best place in the world to live and do business,” said Carlos Gutierrez, secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). He and leaders from Mexico and Canada met recently to develop a coordinated strategy to combat counterfeiting and piracy in North America. In addition, the three ministerial representatives, addressed the need for common principles in e-commerce, streamlining regulation, simplifying trade flows and more cooperation in making air transportation, energy, steel, automotive manufacturing and other economic sectors more competitive.

The group reached agreements to enhance cooperation on public health and safety protections related to the safety of consumer goods and safe international trade for certain agricultural products.

Earlier, President George W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Mexican President Vicente Fox had met to establish the trilateral partnership. At that meeting, the three agreed to “establish a common approach to security to protect North America from external threats, prevent and respond to threats within North America and further streamline the secure and efficient movement of legitimate, low-risk traffic across our shared borders.”

Security goals set by the group included:

Implementing common border security and bioprotection strategies.

Enhancing critical infrastructure protection.

Implementing improvements in aviation and maritime security, combating transnational threats and enhancing transnational threats.

Implementing a border facilitation strategy to build capacity and improve the legitimate flow of people and cargo across shared borders.

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