Conspiracy theorists have long been on guard against the “New World Order” – particularly ever since then-President George H.W. Bush uttered the phrase during his 1991 State of the Union address – but lately, talk of a “North American Union” merger between the United States, Mexico, and Canada has made the leap from late-night talk radio and the blogosphere fringe and into respectable media. Is there anything to all this?
There are three components to the conspiracy:
- The North American Union (NAU)
- The NAFTA Superhighway
- The “amero” – a unified currency for the U.S., Mexico, and Canada
Each component has a varying degree of truth.
For starters, the NAU has long been many an internationalist’s dream, especially since the European Union (EU) came into being. There is something called the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and conspiracy theorists say it’s the forerunner to the NAU. At least one Canadian political party takes the issue very seriously, and in general, the theoretical merger has been given more attention in Canada than in either the U.S. or Mexico. And finally, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) – another conspiracy theorist bugaboo – has issued a white paper advocating the establishment of a common North American security perimeter, the development of biometric North American border passes, and the adoption of a common North American tariff.
So is the NAU for real? There is some circumstantial evidence to suggest it may be but certainly not enough to convict “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Next up, the NAFTA Superhighway: This component does appear to be real – at least in large part. Of course, the name “NAFTA Superhighway” is a creation of its opponents, but there are real proposals for the system conspiracy theorists allude to, and some of these new roads are actually being built as we speak.
Finally, the “amero” – a shared currency for the three nations. This component is the least likely of the three, as there is no reliable evidence that a unitary continental currency is on the horizon. However, a savvy conspiracy theorist might suggest that the NAFTA Superhighway is Step 1, the NAU Step 2, and the amero the third and final step of tri-national merger. Thus, why should there be much evidence for the amero’s existence at this point?
The term “amero” was coined (no pun intended) in 1999 by Canadian economist Herbert Grubel. Grubel did manage to interest then-Mexican President Vicente Fox in the idea but could get no traction in the U.S. or especially in his native Canada [source]. Thus, the amero is strictly theoretical… Well, mostly.
In an effort to “publicize” the pending merger of the three nations, private minters have taken to making gold, silver, and copper amero coins. In typical fashion, conspiracy nuts who got their hands on these coins thought they were secretly made by the NAU.
Well, gee. If the NAU means the abolition of the Federal Reserve and a return to gold and silver coinage, I have only one question: Where can I sign up?