Trans Texas Corridor Racing Ahead

Posted on Tuesday, March 23 at 09:52 by Milton

After Rick Perry's highway department announced the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) route known as TTC-35 was "dead" in 2009, we find out post-election in 2010 that it, along with free trade, is very much alive and well. Canadian officials have shown renewed interest in a multi-modal trade corridor along I-35. Winnipeg recently announced its intention to build an inland port similar to those in San Antonio and Dallas. One such inland port in Kansas City has ceded sovereign United States territory to Canada and Mexico with the flags of all three countries flying over it. Officials in Winnipeg said it also intends to run a logistics and trade corridor to include rail and high speed highways all the way to Mexico as an Asia-Pacific gateway connecting to Toronto and Montreal.

It should surprise no one that former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger and tolling authority (Alamo RMA) Chairman Bill Thornton took a trip to Toronto in 2006, partially at taxpayer expense, to promote Trans Texas Corridor-style trade connections and to be certain it includes the Port of San Antonio.

Norris Pettis, Canadian Consul General in Dallas, notes in the latest San Antonio Business Journal that "of all the urban centers I deal with, San Antonio is right up there in preaching free trade." The article also said Canadian officials observe an anti-trade sentiment in the U.S. as a whole, but see an open door in Texas, which they say doesn't share "protectionist policies."

Thank you, Rick Perry.

Tullos Wells is part of the Lone Star Rail project (pushing an Austin-San Antonio commuter rail line) and also traveled with Hardberger. He also happens to work for the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani, one of the biggest players in pushing the privatization of our public roads (and represents Spain-based Cintra on private toll deals here in Texas) as well as pushing these multi-national trade corridors. Read more about the Bracewell & Giuliani connection here. It's not rocket science to conclude this is why Rick Perry endorsed Rudy Giuliani for President in 2007.

The Trans Texas Corridor has always been about exploiting Texas landowners and taxpayers to open up new trade corridors to facilitate the free flow of goods among the three countries to benefit private corporations. Executive Director of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Amadeo Saenz, admitted in public testimony February 1 (watch it here), that though TxDOT says the TTC is “dead,” it could change its mind tomorrow and still move forward with the Trans Texas Corridor since the statutory authority to do so remains in the Texas Transportation Code. This is one time we can take them at their word. They are indeed moving forward.

While most Texans have no problem with trade, many have expressed dismay with so-called "free" trade. It'd be more aptly called government managed trade, which is heavily tilted in favor of foreign countries, fails to insist on reciprocity, and overly taxes American goods while providing tax breaks on foreign imports. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has done more to hurt the U.S. manufacturing sector than any other government policy in recent history. In fact, more than one million Americans have lost jobs due to NAFTA. Given the grim state of the economy and high U.S. unemployment, now more than ever, the U.S. needs to reconsider NAFTA.

A handful of U.S. lawmakers recently renewed calls to repeal NAFTA. President Obama once spoke of his support for renegotiating parts of NAFTA, but seems to have reversed himself since taking office, now battling members of his own party to push for yet more "free" trade agreements to be signed with many other countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Chile, Peru, Vietnam and Brunei on an Asia-Pacific regional free-trade agreement, South Korea, Panama, and Columbia.


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  1. by RickW
    Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:33 am
    Seems to be a bit of a conflict going on here. NAFTA has caused the loss of American manufacturing jobs, Americans are becoming wary of "free trade" deals, yet offcicials blithely proceed, insisting that "more of the same" can only be good.

    While Canadians appear willing (so far) to roll over and play dead, the US isn't called the murder capital of the developed world for nothing: ... /cri-crime
    ...and most Americans haven't yet become pi$$ed off all that much yet.

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