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Homeland Security

23 March 2005

North American Leaders Unveil Security and Prosperity Partnership

Bush, Fox, Martin outline trilateral efforts during March 23 meeting

President Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Mexican President Vicente Fox announced the establishment of the "Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America" in a March 23 joint statement.

Convening that same day in Waco, Texas, for a trilateral meeting, the North American leaders said the security and prosperity of their nations are "mutually dependent and complementary" and explained the impetus for the new initiative.

"In a rapidly changing world, we must develop new avenues of cooperation that will make our open societies safer and more secure, our businesses more competitive, and our economies more resilient," they said in their statement.

The leaders indicated that the North American partnership will work to achieve these ends and "is committed to reach the highest results to advance the security and well-being of our people."

As part of their efforts to protect North America from external threats, to prevent and respond to threats within North America, and to streamline legitimate cross-border trade and travel, the three countries will implement common border-security strategies, enhance infrastructure protection, implement a common approach to emergency response, implement improvements to aviation and maritime security, enhance intelligence partnerships, combat transnational threats, and implement a border-facilitation strategy.

To improve North American competitiveness and enhance the quality of life in the region, the partnership participants will pursue regulatory cooperation while maintaining high health and safety standards.  The North American nations will also promote sectoral cooperation in energy, transportation, financial services, technology and other areas.  Other initiatives include reducing the costs of trade and enhancing environmental stewardship.

To pursue the partnership mandate, ministerial-level working groups will be established to set specific, measurable, achievable goals and identify concrete steps toward these goals.  Within 90 days, the ministers will issue initial reports.  Thereafter, the groups will report semi-annually, the three leaders said in their statement.

Following is the text of the joint statement, as released by the White House:

(begin text)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
(Crawford, Texas)
March 23, 2005

Joint Statement by President Bush, President Fox, and Prime Minister Martin Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America

We, the elected leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, gather in Texas to announce the establishment of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.

Over the past decade, our three nations have taken important steps to expand economic opportunity for our people and to create the most vibrant and dynamic trade relationship in the world.  Since September 11, 2001, we have also taken significant new steps to address the threat of terrorism and to enhance the security of our people.

But more needs to be done.  In a rapidly changing world, we must develop new avenues of cooperation that will make our open societies safer and more secure, our businesses more competitive, and our economies more resilient.

Our Partnership will accomplish these objectives through a trilateral effort to increase the security, prosperity, and quality of life of our citizens.  This work will be based on the principle that our security and prosperity are mutually dependent and complementary, and will reflect our shared belief in freedom, economic opportunity, and strong democratic values and institutions.  Also, it will help consolidate our action into a North American framework to confront security and economic challenges, and promote the full potential of our people, addressing disparities and increasing opportunities for all.

Our Partnership is committed to reach the highest results to advance the security and well-being of our people.  The Partnership is trilateral in concept; while allowing any two countries to move forward on an issue, it will create a path for the third to join later.

Advancing our Common Security

We will 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.  As part of our efforts, we will:

-- Implement common border-security and bio-protection strategies;

-- Enhance critical infrastructure protection, and implement a common approach to emergency response;

-- Implement improvements in aviation and maritime security, combat transnational threats, and enhance intelligence partnerships; and

-- Implement a border-facilitation strategy to build capacity and improve the legitimate flow of people and cargo at our shared borders.

Advancing our Common Prosperity

We will work to enhance North American competitiveness and improve the quality of life of our people.  Among other things, we will:

-- Improve productivity through regulatory cooperation to generate growth, while maintaining high standards for health and safety;

-- Promote sectoral collaboration in energy, transportation, financial services, technology, and other areas to facilitate business; and invest in our people;

-- Reduce the costs of trade through the efficient movement of goods and people; and

-- Enhance the stewardship of our environment, create a safer and more reliable food supply while facilitating agricultural trade, and protect our people from disease.

Next Steps

We will establish Ministerial-led working groups that will consult with stakeholders in our respective countries. These working groups will respond to the priorities of our people and our businesses, and will set specific, measurable, and achievable goals.  They will identify concrete steps that our governments can take to meet these goals, and set implementation dates that will permit a rolling harvest of accomplishments.

Within 90 days, Ministers will report back to us with their initial report.  Following this, the groups will report on a semi-annual basis.  Because the Partnership will be an ongoing process of cooperation, new items will be added to the work agenda by mutual agreement as circumstances warrant.

Through this Partnership, we will ensure that North America remains the most economically dynamic region of the world and a secure home for our people in this and future generations.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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