Globe columnist John Ibbitson thinks the SPP is dead [paid subcriber access only].
His eulogy at once minimizes its significance in life and maximizes the impact of its death, which makes us marvel at the man’s ability to suck and blow simultaneously but let us set that aside for a moment.
Apparently Ibbotson had a glimpse inside the former corridors of power - a meeting of the Trilateral Commission - where he was the privileged recipient of a confidence: the Security and Prosperity Initiative is defunct.
Mr. Bush was having a hard enough time getting Congress to fund his war in Iraq while also approving new trade agreements with Central American countries. Mr. Harper had no intention of risking his minority government over the issue of regulatory harmonization. Both men quietly agreed to let SPP die through neglect.
While we’re a bit sheepish at how easily we assume the mantle of left-wing nut, could it be possible that Ibbitson, an influential columnist at Canada’s newspaper of record, is being spun?
While it’s not the first major trade initiative to die an early death, it’s also not the first time the backers of a trade initiative have feigned death in order to rally the troops.
So we’re encouraged, but we’re not ready to put the picket signs away yet.
To us, the SPP was not a benign, sensible effort to “harmonize the regulatory regimes of the member states of NAFTA” as Ibbitson writes, but rather it was “about eliminating Canada’s ability to set its own independent regulatory standards, environmental protection measures, energy security, foreign, military, immigration and a frighteningly wide range of other policies” as the Council of Canadians writes.