The summit concluded with a meeting with the North American Competitiveness Council to discuss ways to harmonize trade practices in order to enhance profitability and competitiveness for North American corporations.
Peter Julian, international trade critic for the NDP, is skeptical about the goals of the SPP, as is the Council of Canadians. Julian is quoted in the CTV story as saying: “The NDP was able to obtain a meeting summary—through a freedom of information request—from a meeting that was held last February with the SPP ministers. Very clearly that document refers to a very deep agenda, a very wide-ranging agenda. And it's an agenda that has, front and centre, the objectives of the North American Competitiveness Council—a group of about 30 un-appointed, unelected company CEOs, who are pushing forward the agendas of their companies.”
The NDP is right in insisting that the discussions of the SPP must be open to the publics of the involved countries. They are also right in maintaining that having the North American Competitiveness Council as the only dialogue partner at such summit meetings is scary, and fosters skepticism.
Stephen Harper vigorously pooh-poohed the alarms raised by Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians and the NDP international trade critic. He led us to believe that the discussions with the North American Competitiveness Council were nothing more than an attempt to facilitate better movement of jelly beans, for instance, and George Bush iterated that criticism of the SPP was borne out of the imaginations of people who deal in conspiracy theories as their modus operandi.
My feeling is that Harper, Bush and Calderon are way too naïve to be throwing any criticism at their critics, certainly not of the sarcastic kind that Harper did at the news conference. The North American economy is being driven by corporate interests. I’m pretty sure, for instance, that the proposed massive arms deals with
Conspiracy theories? Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t prove that no one is following me.