Words matter. People who have noticed the redefinition of the United States geography into regions have used the term regionalism to describe it. That makes sense to a degree but does not give the uninitiated any solid historical concept to associate with it. NAFTA for example, is a tripartite agreement between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. It’s called a trade agreement but it’s more about harmonizing laws than it is about cross-border commerce. It includes labor and environmental rules that were side agreements in NAFTA but are embedded in the renegotiated USMCA agreement. Apparently, the USMCA also includes most of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that was rejected as a separate agreement.
It turns out that cross-border economic and social arrangements are actually called Customs Unions. When you do a search on that term, you’ll find a lot of information about them – including the part that they’ve played in history and it isn’t good. The European Union is a customs union. NAFTA and the updated version, USMCA established a North American customs union.
One of the significant elements of a customs union is the facilitation of cross-border trade – essentially open borders for commerce between participating members in the union. Succinctly, that means roads, bridges, ports, trains, trucks, airplanes and the strategic crossroads where different forms of transportation come together to facilitate distribution of cargo to the final point of destination.
Fortuitously, last October, the Brookings Institution sponsored a two-part series on China Tech and how China is challenging the world. Part 1 and Part 2. In Part 2, one of the speakers mentioned China’s Digital Belt and Road. The addition of the word Digital in front of Belt and Road is a hint of the underlying strategic plan that will ultimately lead to a global totalitarian system of control.
Recall that China’s President Xi Jinping introduced the Belt and Road initiative in 2013. The word Belt is used for land-based transportation routes and Road refers to sea-based shipping lanes but it’s more than that. An Australian news website has an Explainer page on it that includes this paragraph:
At its simplest, it is a policy for Chinese investment in infrastructure including ports, rail, bridges, oil and gas pipelines, and roads within China, across Europe and Asia and throughout the Indo-Pacific to create, as the BRI’s English language website puts it, “a brighter future together”.
In 2018, the World Economic Forum had a section on it. Under the feature image of a highway in an article titled, Could a Digital Silk Road solve the Belt and Road’s sustainability problem? the caption reads:
“The Digital Silk Road could bring a green transformation to infrastructure.”
There is also a graphic of it by the Mercator Institute for China Studies. Notice they don’t show fiber optic cables or mention telecommunications but the concept is inherent in the name itself: Digital Silk Road.
The documentation on China’s Belt and Road design provides descriptions and visual presentations of the strategic transportation plans for cross-border commerce and the linkages between customs zones aka free trade zones, special economic zones, enterprise zones, whatever label a country chooses to give them. Clearly at this point, a customs union is an interim organizing step towards global governance for commerce – totalitarian by definition and technology for communications and infrastructure is a major – if not the key enabling element for all of it.
The following video is about China’s Silk Road plan in Myanmar. It’s classic in terms of showing the impact of transportation-centered economic development paid for by foreign investors on the people in the strategic target locations for transportation crossroads that are designated to become special economic zones (i.e. customs zones).
Belt and Road in Idaho
In 2010, an article in the Idaho Statesman announced a visit by a delegation of 23 Chinese businessmen arriving in Meridian, Idaho to look at investing there. For me, as a native Idahoan for the most part, unaware of the structure of the global economy but concerned enough to be trying to figure out what happened to our country, it was a What the Hell? moment. Long story short, the retrospective analysis led to the determination that a location in Meridian was targeted to be a special economic zone (aka inland port) or more specifically a customs zone – a location in the global customs system. The analysis led back to Mexico, NAFTA and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organization.
APEC was established in 1989 but it was proposed to the U.S. Congress by Australian Prime Minister Robert Hawke in 1988.
In 2011, after nearly a year of research trying to figure out what was happening in Meridian, I drew a picture – a graphic of what I saw. The following is the diagram but I’ve added a red box around the key feature to notice.
The red box highlights the World Customs Organization – a global organization that apparently is responsible for orchestrating the economic organization of the world for the convenience of Customs. The history of this organization is very important – linking the past to the present. In the history section of the World Customs Organization website, the following are the significant excerpts:
The history of the WCO began in 1947 when the thirteen European Governments represented in the Committee for European Economic Co-operation agreed to set up a Study Group. This Group examined the possibility of establishing one or more inter-European Customs Unions based on the principles of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
In 1948, the Study Group set up two committees – an Economic Committee and a Customs Committee. The Economic Committee was the predecessor of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Customs Committee became the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC).
. . .
1974 – The International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs procedures (Kyoto Convention) enters into force on 25 September.
. . .
1980 – The Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in the Prevention, Repression and Investigation of Customs Offences (Nairobi Convention) enters into force on 21 May.
. . .
1994 – The WCO Council adopts the informal name “World Customs Organization” to better reflect the Organization’s global nature.
No wonder our government officials no longer know who they work for.
A clever little twist they threw in was that they used the name the Committee for European Economic Cooperation when the actual name was the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC). The OEEC was established to direct the funds from the Marshall Plan to the European nations for post World War II rebuilding. In 1960, President John F. Kennedy signed a convention that allowed the reconstitution of the OEEC to be the OECD. And as described above, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organization was established in 1989.
When you read the meeting notes, reports and plans of APEC, you can find the elements of China’s Belt and Road initiative including the Digital aspects of it.
The “green” part of begins in the late 1960s when Alexander King became the Director-General of education and science at the OECD. Alexander also co-founded the Club of Rome with Aurelio Peccei, funded by David Rockefeller. The Club of Rome brought the idea of computer systems and environmentalism together for the management of resources as described in the book Limits to Growth.
The agendas of the customs unions, environmentalism and technology all come together in 1993 at the beginning and throughout the Clinton-Gore Administration. I wrote about in an article titled, The Green Marshall Plan.
I think it’s safe to say that they thought they could lessen the managed decline of our standard of living through the use of technology for efficiency. That won’t work though because no amount of efficiency will be enough for the economic planners of the global economy. Their objective is to squeeze and squeeze, cut and cut until everybody who is still living is eating soylent green and drinking toilet to tap water which is the ultimate goal of the circular economy as designed by the planners.
There is no natural market for green technology so the market is created artificially through government regulatory and propaganda power. It’s called demand push because they have to push it on you which makes you a slave consumer in a global centrally planned economy in which you are merely excess capacity and a waste of resources.