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Homeland Security

23 March 2005

North American Prosperity Depends on Security

United States, Canada, Mexico outline new security/prosperity pact

The United States, Canada and Mexico have reached a new trilateral agreement that is based on the principle that prosperity in North America depends on developing a common security strategy in the region.

In a fact sheet released by the White House on March 23, the three nations outline the new Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America announced that same day at a meeting in Texas between President Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Mexican President Vicente Fox.

The fact sheet says that through the new partnership, the three nations will develop a security strategy that safeguards the region from external threats, prevents and responds to internal threats in North America, and streamlines the "secure and efficient movement of legitimate and low-risk traffic across our shared borders."

The new agreement builds upon, but is separate from, the three countries' long-standing trade and economic relationships.  The three nations said in the fact sheet that the agreement "energizes other aspects of our cooperative relations, such as the protection of our environment, our food supply, and our public health."

Also, immigration and trade disputes among the three nations will be dealt with outside the new agreement, through existing treaties and congressional action, according to the fact sheet.

Following is the text of the White House fact sheet, with further details on the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America:

(begin fact sheet)

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2005

FACT SHEET: SECURITY AND PROSPERITY PARTNERSHIP OF NORTH AMERICA

"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."  -- Joint Statement by President Bush, Prime Minister Martin, and President Fox, March 23, 2005

Today, President Bush, Prime Minister Martin of Canada, and President Fox of Mexico announced the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Through the SPP, the United States, Canada, and Mexico seek to:

Establish a cooperative approach to advance our common security and prosperity.

Develop a common security strategy to further secure North America, focusing on:

-- Securing North America from external threats;

-- Preventing and responding to threats within North America; and

-- Streamlining the secure and efficient movement of legitimate and low-risk traffic across our shared borders.

Promote economic growth, competitiveness, and quality of life.  Through cooperation and information sharing, the SPP will work toward:

-- Improving productivity;

-- Reducing the costs of trade; and

-- Enhancing the joint stewardship of our environment, facilitating agricultural trade while creating a safer and more reliable food supply, and protecting our people from disease.

The SPP is based on the principle that our prosperity is dependent on our security, and recognizes that our three great nations are bound by a shared belief in freedom, economic opportunity, and strong democratic institutions.

At the meeting, President Bush, Prime Minister Martin, and President Fox released Security and Prosperity Agendas to further protect and secure North America from 21st Century threats and to increase economic opportunities for the people of North America while maintaining high standards of health and safety.

Following the meeting, and based on the content of the Security and Prosperity Agendas, each nation will establish ministerial-level Security and Prosperity Partnership working groups.  The working groups will:

-- Consult with stakeholders (in the business sector, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations) in their respective countries;

-- Set specific, measurable, and achievable goals and implementation dates;

-- Identify concrete steps the governments can take to achieve these goals;

-- Within 90 days (June 2005) report back to the Heads of Government with their initial report; and semi-annual progress reports thereafter.

Areas of Focus and Responsibility

The following U.S. working groups will be established:

Security working groups chaired by Secretary Chertoff and the Department of Homeland Security will address:

-- External Threats to North America

-- Streamlined and Secured Shared Borders

-- Prevention/Response within North America

Prosperity working groups chaired by Secretary Gutierrez and the Department of Commerce will address:

-- Manufactured Goods

-- Energy Food and Agriculture

-- Business Facilitation

-- E-Commerce and Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)

-- Transportation

-- Environment

-- Financial Services

-- Rules of Origin

Secretary Rice and the Department of State will work with the Departments of Homeland Security and Commerce to integrate the work of the Security and Prosperity working groups, and ensure that it advances U.S. foreign policy goals and enhances our strong relations with Canada and Mexico.

Relationship to Other Initiatives

The SPP will complement, rather than replace, existing bilateral and trilateral fora and working groups that are performing well.  It establishes leader-level priorities for ongoing and new trilateral and bilateral initiatives, giving existing efforts additional momentum, and creating new programs and initiatives where necessary and appropriate.

The SPP will enhance and strengthen our ongoing security efforts, such as the Smart Border Accord, the Border Partnership Action Plan, and the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Initiative.

The SPP builds upon, but is separate from, our long-standing trade and economic relationships, and it energizes other aspects of our cooperative relations, such as the protection of our environment, our food supply, and our public health.  The issues of immigration and trade disputes will be dealt with outside the SPP through existing treaties and congressional action.

(end fact sheet)

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



This page printed from: http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfile-english&y=2005&m=March&x=20050323171718AEneerG0.3192407&t=livefeeds/wf-latest.html



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