Correspondence

The “Smart” Port

In saner times, countries had borders, and along these borders were ports for the inspection and tagging of goods coming into or leaving the country.  The border, after all, would be the logical place to conduct such business, since it is the terminus ad quem cargo would be outside or inside a country.

Globalization, however, attempts to render such common sense anachronistic.  Through the lens of this ideology, borders are vestigial obstacles from quainter days, and ports should now be built inland where land and labor are cheaper, and crowded coastal ports can be avoided.  Such dogma has infiltrated the minds of the Kansas City elite.  Their plan to create the Kansas City SmartPort, where Mexican officials will inspect goods before they are shipped via truck or train to Mexico, and then sent to Asia, is under way.

This customs facility, on the central artery of what many have labeled the “NAFTA Superhighway,” would include a truck port in the city and a train port south of the city.  Kansas City currently has approximately 10,000 acres designated as a free-trade zone, which would make it the largest such zone in any city in the United States.  In the Kansas City Star (July 18, 2006), Rick Alm and Lynn Horsley described the project:

Arm in arm with Mexican authorities, city officials for nearly two years have pressed the U.S. departments of...

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