Skip to comments.Shipping-Corridor Deal Cuts Heart Out of Heartland
Posted on 08/07/2006 9:34:09 AM PDT by Reagan Man
Grass-roots Americans of all parties and economic classes rose up out of their political apathy a few months ago and forced President George W. Bush to reverse his administration's decision to allow a Middle East government to own America's major ports. But the push for foreign ownership continues: the next port scheduled to be taken over is Kansas City, Mo.
Even though public schools stopped teaching geography a couple of decades ago, most Americans (especially residents of the Show Me State) are surprised to learn that Kansas City (where the only waves are "amber waves of grain") is a port. We are also surprised, and shocked, to discover that Mexico will be running its own inspection facility there.
The plan, shrouded in secrecy, has been in the works for at least three years, but it is now coming to light because of the diligent use of Missouri's Sunshine law by concerned citizens. Joyce Mucci and Francis Semler forced the release of the e-mails from Kansas City to Mexico, including one admitting that "The space (in Kansas City) would need to be designated as Mexican sovereign territory."
SmartPort representatives are now running away from this written admission, blaming "the problems and pressure the media attention has created." However, the stubborn sovereignty issue won't go away; the plan does involve setting up Mexican customs officials in downtown Kansas City.
The mechanism for this deal is a "nonprofit" business economic development corporation called Kansas City SmartPort Inc., whose president is Chris J.F. Gutierrez. The deal calls for Kansas City to lease the valuable property at 1447 Liberty St.
As laid out on SmartPort's Web site, the plan is to enable products made in China to travel in sealed "containers nonstop from the Far East by way of Mexico," through "a ships-to-rail terminal at the port of Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico," then up "the evolving trade corridor" to Kansas City, Mo., where they would have their first inspection.
A Kansas City SmartPort brochure explains further: "Kansas City offers the opportunity for sealed cargo containers to travel to Mexican port cities with virtually no border delays."
A key purpose of the project is to take jobs away from U.S. longshoremen in Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., who earn $140,000 a year, and replace them with Mexican laborers at $10,000 a year. U.S. truck drivers and railroad workers will likewise be replaced by Mexicans.
The port of Lazaro Cardenas, on the west coast of southern Mexico, is controlled by Hutchison Whampoa, the same giant Hong Kong shipping firm that owns the ports at both ends of the Panama Canal. Chinese-made goods will be carried by Kansas City Southern Railway de Mexico directly to Kansas City, where freight will be distributed east and west and on to Canada.
Kansas City Southern was originally a belt railway around Kansas City but, after buying various Mexican rail companies and tracks, KCS controls a 2,600-mile artery from Lazaro Cardenas to Kansas City. KCS President Michael Haverty was one of five U.S. businessmen who met with President Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at their March summit in Cancun, Mexico.
Mexico was at first expected to pay for the big, expensive machines to conduct high-tech gamma-ray screening for drive-through inspections of containers, but Mexico declined the honor. SmartPort has applied for a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (i.e., to get the U.S. taxpayers to pay for the machines).
The Kansas City City Council has already earmarked $2.5 million in loans and $600,000 in direct aid to SmartPort, which would build and own the facility and then sublet it to the Mexican government. The cost could go as high as $6 million because Kansas City has an existing lease that runs through 2045 on the same property with the 107-year-old American Royal, which uses that land for its annual livestock/rodeo/barbecue event.
The last piece in finalizing this project is getting the U.S. State Department to approve the Mexican operation on U.S. soil by signing off on what is called the C-175 document. It has already been approved by U.S. Customs.
Meanwhile, NASCO (North America's SuperCorridor Coalition Inc.), another nonprofit business organization, has taken on the mission of building an "international, integrated and secure, multimodal transportation system" from Lazaro Cardenas through Kansas City and up to Winnipeg, Canada. This will allow Mexican trucks to haul goods along a 12-lane superhighway through the heartland of the United States.
Tick,tick,tick.... here come the 'ridiculists'. LOL
I don't know if this is related, but a LOT of construction has popped up at the Kansas City airport right near the eastern N/S runway. It looks like a massive refueling depot -- as in a couple of gas stations with a lot of stalls. I guess I should take a picture of it next time I am on a plane that is taxiing past it.
Should make the drug distribution system far more efficient. This will be the Nagasaki of the WOD (and we lost).
SmartPort representatives are now running away from this written admission, blaming "the problems and pressure the media attention has created." However, the stubborn sovereignty issue won't go away; the plan does involve setting up Mexican customs officials in downtown Kansas City.When I was returning from a business trip to Monterrey (Mexico), I went through US Customs there. Likewise in Montreal.
This isn't a big deal.
The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America will effectively graft a fat pipe from the corrupt, marxist, drug and human trafficking nation to our south directly to the US heartland under questionable jurisdictions and real security concerns (not just security in name only). I would hazard to guess that the conceptual seeds of this monstrosity were sown before nineteen jihadists decided to attack the US five years ago. And we all know times have changed a bit since then.
Don't you listen to Michael Medved, this is just so much hype. How could anyone be against more roads? Whatever it takes to make business more profitable and cut the red tape from the shipping business....
Bravo! Go get them. The ILWU brought this on themselves. Shipping companies cannot transfer emailed shipment data automatically because the ILWU makes "marine clerks" retype them in. Ha ha ha. ¿Habla Español dufus?
That's a pretty graphic. Looks so damn wholesome with its vibrant pinks and forward thinking yellows.
What is it about a longshoreman job that makes it worth 140,000 per year? Is it because of their willingness to use violence to obstruct the flow of goods to the rest of us and to prevent others from performing the work?
No ~ I don't Medved to explain what is obvious to me and any clear thinking American.
Protect our borders and coastlines from all foreign invaders!
It takes juice in order to refuse to use barcode scanners.
Yep ~ vibrant. ;)
They have a good union. ;)
Total bullsh!t. She has no idea what she is talking about, and should be ashamed of such sloppy research. And yeah, I know who she is and what she has done in the past, which is why this is even more inexcusable.
Impossible to replace American rail workers with Mexican ones because it isn't like on a highway where anyone can just get on and drive. Each employee has to be trained and qualified on how to work their territory, they are limited by union agreements to only working a specified section between fixed crew change terminals (usually about 150-250 miles), and (unlike many industries) all operating employees are unionized on mainline railroads (even in a right-to-work state like Texas.) The crewing agreements are very specific, long-term, and there is zero chance of any major railroad breaking the unions. Zero, completely different situation than the air traffic controllers. Even if they ran through bi-lingual crews across the border, they wouldn't make it any further north than the Corpus Christi area because of crew district lengths (by law no rail employee can work more than 12 hours, thus limiting how far they can operate a single train.)
This isn't a proposal to replace the ports of LA/Long Beach, it is to bypass the congestion and capture some of the overflow traffic. Shipping via Lazaro Cardenas and Mazatlan adds at least a day for rail or truck transport and more extra days for the much longer sea transit (just take a look at a globe), so for much of the cargo it will always be more cost-effective to enter via the US west coast. However there is a limit to how much these US ports can expand and the rail routes from CA to the south and midwest are near current capacity. Also most traffic moves via Chicago, Memphis, and Texas, so KC isn't a huge threat to those gateways, but rather an attempt to open another (needed) gateway and capture some of the huge number of warehousing/repacking/distribution jobs that currently take place at the ports of entry. Just like Chicago and Memphis has, and Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, and other cities are attempting to get in on. What Kansas City is trying to create is an inland port, a concept that isn't new and has been used in Front Royal, VA (within an hour of DC) for years. Phyllis needs to google "Virginia Inland Port", she just might learn a thing or three.
Management of certain shipping operations by a company of foreign ownership does not constitute foreign "ownership" of the port.
I knew KC was port years ago and wait til the Mexicans run into the Mafia there.
It's tough to get past that first sentence, isn't it? :)