Old Wives' Tales
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Toxin du jour
Claim: The leaders of Canada, the United States, and Mexico agreed in 2005 to subsume their countries into a greater "North American Union" by the year 2010.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, January 2008]
Origins: In March 2005, the leaders of the United States, Canada, and Mexico (President
Contrary to the rumor expressed in the example quoted above, the three men did not sign any treaty or agreement to subsume the sovereignty of their countries to a greater entity called the North American Union (NAU), eliminate their common borders, or create a common currency (akin to the Euro) to replace their nations' currencies. What the leaders agreed to was the creation of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), a "dialogue to increase security and enhance prosperity among the three countries." The SPP is not itself an agreement or a treaty, it is not a movement to merge the United States, Mexico, and Canada into a North American Union or to establish a common currency, nor does it seek to alter or subsume the sovereignty of those three countries.
The notion that the establishment of a North American Union (along with the dissolving of national borders and the creation of a common currency) is set to take place in 2010 stems from proposals such as Building a North American Community (a publication of the Council on Foreign Relations in association with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales) which advocate more aggressive plans for North American cooperation, such as the "establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community, the boundaries of which would be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter." However, such proposals are merely analyses and recommendations developed by independent "think tanks"; they are not treaties, legislation, or official blueprints for future governmental actions.
None of this is to say that the three North American countries might not someday decide to form closer ties along the lines of the European Union, perhaps with a common currency and more fluid borders. But there is currently no official governmental plan underway to make all that happen by 2010.
Last updated: 9 January 2008
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