NAFTA Superhighway

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The NAFTA Superhighway was a hypothetical highway which would run all the way from Mexico, via the United States, to Canada. It exists primarily as a conspiracy theory bandied about by anti-Bush, populist right-wingers in the 2000s, who view it as an insidious attempt by "free-traders" and NAFTA supporters to further dissolve the already beleaguered borders of the United States and merge it into the "North American Union".

This particular conspiracy theory appears to have its origins in rumors snowballing on the Internet, tying together various real things into a conspiracy that isn't. There is such a group as North America's SuperCorridor Coalition, Inc. (NASCO), a Dallas-based business coalition which lobbies for transportation improvements to help the flow of international trade. It is also true that Kansas City Southern railroad has acquired railroads in Mexico and Panama and markets itself as the "NAFTA Railway" stretching from Chicago to Mexico City (the Panama Canal Railroad doesn't connect to anything[note 1]). It's also true that the plans to connect the various disconnected bits of Interstate 69, which has been nicknamed the "NAFTA Superhighway" from time to time because, if completed, it would run directly from the part of Canada with industry (Ontario) to Mexico, but this (1) has run into non-conspiracy-related hiccups such as a lack of funding and environmental impact reports, and (2) isn't really that spectacular, since the route via I-69 isn't particularly useful for Mexican trade. These do not a conspiracy make, paranoia about the New World Order notwithstanding. They're a big "so what?"

NASCO did produce a map showing various transportation corridors in North America[1] which along with the recent book The Late Great USA by Jerome Corsi seems to have fueled much of the paranoia.[2]

There are already multiple highways which connect the US to Canada and Mexico, namely the I-5/I-15 and I-29/I-35 interstates. Not to mention the near infinite number of routes between the three countries navigable by drivers willing to stop at the occasional stoplight and/or turn a corner.

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  1. There was an abortive attemptWikipedia to change that. As the main thing that ultimately led to the failure of the project was the recent economic downturn, it might make a comeback in some form in the future.


  1. On this (Flash-based) map, under "Economic Corriders", click "Mid-Continent" to see the highways that already join the U.S. and Mexico.
  2. Christopher Hayes. "The NAFTA Superhighway." The Nation. 2007 August 27.