The Security and Prosperity Partnership has a number of critics. It is true that a number of changes are being recommended outside of the legislative process - some affect border security. What the public is told is that it is a trilateral effort to increase security and enhance prosperity among the United States, Canada and Mexico through greater cooperation and information sharing. So why all the critics? Some claim it isn't legal. I guess time will tell. This framework for cooperation between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada is in a number of key areas; security, competitiveness and so on. Some say it advances the agenda of large corporations who are key players in the the whole thing and it is being done largely in secret. One group wanting to find out more is Judicial Watch, who is working hard to gain access to the North American Competitiveness Council (a division of the SPP) records and require them to honor open meeting rules. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it is a very open and transparent process and ..."Together, the NACC members and Secretariats from all 3 countries have prepared extensive recommendations on such issues as border crossing facilitation, standards and regulatory cooperation, and energy integration. The first report includes more than 50 recommendations, divided into those that we feel could be accomplished in 2007, before the end of 2008 and before the end of 2010. The NACC also provides suggestions on how the private sector itself can be part of the solution in promoting North American competitiveness."
But Judicial Watch is wanting to attend the meetings of the NACC and its U.S. component subcommittees, the next meeting of which is reportedly scheduled for August 20, 2007 in Montebello, Quebec, Canada and so far has been turned down because the NCAA is a not-for-profit education foundation and does not have to abide by federal open meeting laws. In response, Judicial Watch wrote a letter to Secretary Gutierrez regarding what they believe are violations of the the federal open meeting law and other issues. You can read Judicial Watch's letter dated July 26th to Secretary Gutierrez here. Senator Tom Coburn is one of those copied on the letter.
Recently, the Federal Government agreed to pay Judicial Watch $842,000 in legal fees in attorney’s fees and costs arising from a lengthy and contentious Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that sought access to records concerning a infamous Clinton Administration fundraising scandal [Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Commerce, Civil Action No. 95-133 (RCL)]. An appellate court largely upheld the award on December 1, 2006, after a nearly decade-long court battle between Judicial Watch and the Commerce Department.
Judicial Watch investigates and prosecutes government corruption.