Fact check: False claim Joe Biden 'signed away' US sovereignty

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The claim: President Joe Biden signed away US sovereignty

A Jan. 25 Facebook video (direct link, archive link) shows a woman speaking into a camera below the on-screen text that reads, "time is up."

"Did you know that the United States of America as you know it no longer exists?" the woman says. "While no one was paying attention, Joe Biden signed away our sovereignty as a nation."

The video was shared more than 3,000 times in a week.

Follow us on Facebook! Like our page to get updates throughout the day on our latest debunks

Our rating: False

Biden has not signed any agreement giving up U.S. sovereignty. A document released after a recent summit with Mexico and Canada is not legally binding and does not create any new governing institutions, a law expert told USA TODAY.

Expert says document doesn't affect US sovereignty

Biden recently attended a two-day summit in Mexico City with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. At the conclusion of the meeting, the White House released a document called the Declaration of North America that lists the three countries' mutual commitments on various topics, including climate, health and migration.

The woman in the video claims the declaration signals that "they've completed what their plan has always been, the North American Union, a declaration separate and outside of the Constitution."

The Constitution gives the president the power to make treaties but also requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate to approve them. But the declaration in question isn't a treaty, which is a binding agreement between countries. It's not legally binding and does not effect U.S. sovereignty.

Instead, it's a "set of political commitments, a reflection of this administration's desire for cooperation and coordination with our neighbors," Tuan Samahon, a law professor at Villanova University, told USA TODAY.

Fact check: False claim about Biden, WHO and U.S. sovereignty

"It's not a constitutional or legal document that creates binding legal obligations, legally enforceable duties, or new governing institutions," Samahon said. "And it's not creating a new country."

The declaration does not give up U.S. sovereignty to any other entity, such as the World Health Organization, as the woman in the video claims.

"The declaration is pretty clear on these points by repeatedly using language that emphasizes that each country is undertaking coordinated efforts in their own countries," Samahon said.

For instance, the declaration says each country "will continue to work together and with our respective private sectors to prompt responsible business practices."

USA TODAY reached out to the social media users who shared the post for comment.

PolitiFact, Lead Stories and the Associated Press also debunked the claim.

Our fact-check sources:

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: False claim Joe Biden 'signed away' US sovereignty