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Thread: North American Integration?

  1. #1
    maudit anglais
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    North American Integration?

    So a multi-national task force has come up with recommdendations that the U.S., Mexico, and Canada pursue greater security and economic integration...

    (Article from yesterday's Globe and Mail)

    I'm not sure where I stand on this...I like the idea of expanding NORAD, but am slightly concerned about the potential loss of sovereignty and control over natural resources - although currently those decisions are already somewhat out of our hands. In the long run, I'm also worried that tying ourselves even closer to the U.S. will restrict opportunities to become closer to other regions (e.g. Europe).

    What do other cyburbians think? Does anyone in the U.S. even care about this?

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Will it make my oranges and maple syrup cheaper???
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    A simple but important question:

    Would Mexico and Canada really want additional U.S. influence over their natural resources?

    I think not.....
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  4. #4
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tranplanner
    So a multi-national task force has come up with recommdendations that the U.S., Mexico, and Canada pursue greater security and economic integration...

    (Article from yesterday's Globe and Mail)

    I'm not sure where I stand on this...I like the idea of expanding NORAD, but am slightly concerned about the potential loss of sovereignty and control over natural resources - although currently those decisions are already somewhat out of our hands. In the long run, I'm also worried that tying ourselves even closer to the U.S. will restrict opportunities to become closer to other regions (e.g. Europe).

    What do other cyburbians think? Does anyone in the U.S. even care about this?
    I have been strongly in favo(u)r of an 'EU-style' customs union in North America for many years, and the 2001-09-11 attacks made that opinion all the stronger. North of the land border with Mexico (or, in the case in the G&M article, the Mexico/Belize-Guartemala border), North America is an island and the only ways in are by air or by sea. Thus, by definition, it would be far, far more cost-effective to keep an eye on those continental entry ports, not having to worry about the land borders that are artificially drawn through some of the most remote land on the planet.

    I would go farther and make the internal borders more like they are now in Europe, with no controls at all and only the change in highway design and signage standards to let one know that he/she has crossed from, let's say, France to Germany.

    One more thing that I would include, and it would likely raise hackles in all quarters, is that treatment of internal foreign nationals be 100% reciprical (ie, the jobs/benefits treatment that USA nationals receive in Mexico be identical to the treatment that currently 'illegal' Mexican nationals recieve here in the USA).

    Another item is that should such a setup be put in place, some of the border crossings will have to be expanded and FAST (ie, twinning the Ambassador Bridge along with one and maybe two new 6-8 lane freeway bridges between Detroit and Windsor, plus more and bigger crossings in the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area).

    A common currency is another item that would likely quickly follow from such an agreement.

    Mike

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Of course people in the US are interested in this. Many people believe that we are already too liberal with what we allow into this country and this will not sit well with many. Security is a very major concern and I believe that this is a good thing for the US, but don't really expect Canada and Mexico to feel the same way. Economically this could be another blow to the US if it opens the trade doors with Mexico and Canada even wider, we are already loosing many jobs and billions of dollars in this country due to NAFTA. I do not think NAFTA is a bad thing, but that it favors different countries for different reasons and the US obviously did not care much about our economy.

  6. #6
    What do other cyburbians think? Does anyone in the U.S. even care about this?
    I am terrified about this. My nightmare is that economic integration means eventually living with Latin American economic standards -watch as your purchasing power is withering away. The middle class Latin American citizen has far less purchasing power than US or Canadian middle class. At this point the US economic integration policy towards Mexico means a libertarian immigration policy and perhaps in the future Mexico will tap some of that oil its been sitting on.

    As for security, I'm thinking the emphasis would be on intel and clandestine operations, etc...

    I don't think any of the countries are ready or want integration. All three of these societies are very proud of their national identity and customs.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One
    I am terrified about this. My nightmare is that economic integration means eventually living with Latin American economic standards -watch as your purchasing power is withering away. The middle class Latin American citizen has far less purchasing power than US or Canadian middle class. At this point the US economic integration policy towards Mexico means a libertarian immigration policy and perhaps in the future Mexico will tap some of that oil its been sitting on.
    A previous thread on cyburbia had us calculating how many planets we would need if everyone in the world had a lifestyle similar to us. The point was to show us that our lifestyle is unsustainable, the fact is our lifestyle/standard of living is dependent on others going without. China and India have been in the news recently for their increased oil consumption, as their economies develop their demand for oil will increase, as their is only so much oil to go around prices will increase and war could even be a possibilty. The point is Americans and Canadians are living at an unsustainble, artificially high standard of living at the exspense of the majority of the world's population.

    Thus the question arises: what makes you think the U.S. deserves such a high standard of living? Do believe the "American way of life is non-negotiable"? Or do fear losing the way of life you take for granted?

  8. #8
         
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    I'm not sure "The Three Amigos" are really going to get anywhere with this idea.

    Without debating the core cultural differences of the the countries, their respective economic strategies are taking them in very diverse directions.

    As far as security -- against who?

    As far as harmonization of currency --

    - Canada has a central bank in the pure sense of the definition - US has the Fedral Reserve- very different systems.

    - Harmonization of currency would mean the assets of the trading block would have to support the common currency - Why would we want to finance the US adventure abroad?

    - Tax systems and government services are totally different.

    - the US has proven to be a fair weather trading partner time and time again- What would motivate Canada to get involved in such a program??


    Besides:


    We can just wait another thirty years and foreclose

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Keep in mind 2 ideas.
    1) Monroe Doctrine
    2) We invaded a country because of it's oil.

  10. #10
    what makes you think the U.S. deserves such a high standard of living?
    Quite frankly I think my country deserves a higher standard of living. That doesn't mean I want purchasing power for the newest monster truck, it's more of quality of life issues like "Truly Progressive Taxation, An End to huge Corporate Subsidies and Military Budget Waste, Child-Care, Living Wages for All Workers, Restore the critical Social Safety Net, Health Care for All" , the same issues most of Latin America struggles with. "As the wealthiest country in the world, with high productivity per capita, a country that produces an abundance of capital, credit, technology and food," we deserve a higher standard of living. No apologies!

    Do believe the "American way of life is non-negotiable"? Or do fear losing the way of life you take for granted?
    Well yes I do think the "American way of life is non-negotiable" and I'm sure you do to, have you tried to change it lately? I would like nothing more than America to wake up and curb its ugly problem, oil. Sure I use a canvas tote when I shop, my car sits around all week and my bike is my first mode of transport and my conspicuous consumption index is down for the last year. That being said the only way the "AWOL" is going to change is if the American people demand a different approach to the type of energy we use or how we plan our communities, or how we build within existing infrastructure. I wish more people would support the apollo project, would look to our energy dependence as the busted crutch it is. I wish that the country had more civic scientific efforts to curb our energy dependence. And yes, I fear losing the way of life I take for granted.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian MitchBaby's avatar
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    I am totally against it for a couple of reasons:

    1. NAFTA isn't working as it is, who says that the USA will live up to its obligations under any other treaty.

    2. Canada should simply look for other markets for its natural resources AND establish its own more robust industrial base separate from the USA.

    3. Cap natural resource exports to the USA - ie oil and gas, until such time that the USA lives up to its obligations under NAFTA re: soft wood, beef, etc.

    4. Canada's immigration policies are not perfect, but why would we choose to be more restrictive and move closer to a USA style? The fact is that immigrants to Canada become Canadian and choose to because of the social, economic, and political environment. Common immigration standards would be a nightmare for Canada and even Mexico because of the draconian measures currently under taken by the USA.

    I could go on, but I won't...
    Mitchbaby: Proud to be a :canada: planner and a :canada: surfer

  12. #12
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    I've already started deploying landmines at the border. Foo.

  13. #13
    maudit anglais
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    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    I've already started deploying landmines at the border. Foo.
    Hey now, Canada is a signatory to the treaty banning landmines dontcha know?

    I really am of two minds regarding this. I love Canada, but am not a super-patriot-nationalist. I'd love to see an EU-style border setup, but agree that the external security requirements likely to be dictated by the US could be onerous, and impinge on Canada's ability to set it's own policies with respect to immigration. I've already said I'd like to see an expanded NORAD - I have no issues with tying defence of Canada to defence of the continent as a whole. Deployment of Canadian troops to defend California against the Chinese or whoever would not bother me in the least. Those agreements already exist in principle.

    Trade - well, no one seems happy with NAFTA. Canada has concerns with job losses and dispute resolution. The U.S. has concerns with job losses (I would argue that the U.S. has lost far more jobs to China than to Canada or Mexico through NAFTA). Mexico - well, okay maybe they don't have a problem with NAFTA.

  14. #14
    Mexico - well, okay maybe they don't have a problem with NAFTA.
    It has taken its toll on Mexico as well. Very inexpensive grain imports from US and Canada have been devastating to Mexican farmers.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One

    Well yes I do think the "American way of life is non-negotiable" and I'm sure you do to, have you tried to change it lately?
    Sadly, the American Way of Life has been VERY negotiable-by the class that runs the country and the economy, that is (not the Mexican worker per se). "Can we make bigger profits by moving a factory to China, laying off 3,000 factory workers, let's negotiate a real estate deal with the chinese Army to run our factories.

    Of course, the CEO's partners quickly copy his technology, which means nimble local Chinese producers put the old line Made-in_China "American" comnpany out of business. But, no worries, we can run an economy based on inventing new "debt instruments" and the like.

  16. #16
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    There are 100 million people in Mexico. There are 10 million people from Mexico in the United States. That means approx 10% of all people from Mexico already live in the United States.

    Doesn't answer the question. Just a statistic.

  17. #17

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    I am rather agnostic on all of this, but a couple of points: the comparison of NAFTA with the EU is misleading because the gap between the poorest EU members (Greece, Portugal) and the wealthiest (several northern European countries) is much less than it is between the U.S./Canada and Mexico. I know, the EU is expanding to less developed countries in Central/Eastern Europe, but my point still stands. (Maybe if the EU allows Turkey to join, a huge country with a population far less wealthy, and with a much different culture, we begin to compare it with a North American union.)

    Also, a union with Mexico is a de facto union with all of Latin America, since Mexico's borders to the south with Central America are so porous...This introduces a whole array of security concerns.

    Sure, we'd like the underdeveloped world to achieve the material well-being of the West, and to do so without destroying the environment (as we in the West did)...but if the alternative is that we all live as the masses do in Latin America, I don't think that you are likely to find many liberals or conservatives who will agree...And it wouldn't make the multinationals happy either because someone has to have money to buy their stuff.

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