Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America: An Overview and Selected Issues [May 27, 2009]   [open pdf - 153KB]

"The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) is a trilateral initiative, launched in March 2005, that is intended to increase cooperation and information sharing in an effort to increase and enhance prosperity in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The SPP is a government initiative that was endorsed by the leaders of the three countries, but it is not a signed agreement or treaty and, therefore, contains no legally binding commitments or obligations. It can, at best, be characterized as an endeavor by the three countries to facilitate communication and cooperation across several key policy areas of mutual interest. Although the SPP builds upon the existing trade and economic relationship of the three countries, it is not a trade agreement and is distinct from the existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Some key issues for Congress regarding the SPP concern possible implications related to private sector priorities, national sovereignty, transportation corridors, cargo security, and border security. These issues are discussed in various sections of the report. The SPP was initiated on March 23, 2005 when the leaders of the United States, Canada, and Mexico met in Waco, Texas, to discuss a number of issues including trade and economic collaboration. A major outcome of the summit was the announcement of the SPP. The primary purpose of the initiative was to improve cooperative efforts among the three countries in areas related to economic prosperity and the protection of the environment, the food supply, and public health. The initial plan included the establishment of a number of security and prosperity working groups in each of the two categories. The security working groups are chaired by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the prosperity working groups are chaired by the Secretary of Commerce. It is unclear what course of action will be taken regarding the SPP initiative under President Barack Obama's Administration."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS22701
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