The pending Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, "a regional NAFTA-style trade agreement, would grant even greater privileges to transnational corporations and would exacerbate problems for Mexico and other developing countries." "Mexicans migrated to the
United States at an unprecedented rate of half a million a year after NAFTA."
Nov. 2013 article
11/24/2013, "Under NAFTA, Mexico Suffered, and the United States Felt Its Pain," NY Times, Laura Carlsen, director of the Americas program at the Center for International Policy.
"NAFTA is limping toward its 20th anniversary with a beat-up image and a bad track record. Recent polls show that the majority of the U.S. people favors “leaving” or “renegotiating” the model trade agreement.
While much has been said about its impact on U.S. job loss and eroding labor conditions, some of the most severe impacts of Nafta have been felt south of the border.
Nafta has cut a path of destruction through Mexico. Since the
agreement went into force in 1994, the country’s annual per capita
growth flat-lined to an average of just 1.2 percent -- one of the lowest in the hemisphere. Its real wage has declined and unemployment is up.
As heavily subsidized U.S. corn and other staples poured into Mexico,
producer prices dropped and small farmers found themselves unable to
make a living. Some two million
have been forced to leave their farms since Nafta. At the same time,
consumer food prices rose, notably the cost of the omnipresent tortilla.
As a result, 20 million Mexicans live in “food poverty”.
of the population does not have access to basic food and one-fifth of
Mexican children suffer from malnutrition. Transnational industrial
corridors in rural areas have contaminated rivers and sickened the
population and typically, women bear the heaviest impact.
Not all of Mexico’s problems can be laid at Nafta’s doorstep. But
many have a direct causal link. The agreement drastically restructured
Mexico’s economy and closed off other development paths by prohibiting
protective tariffs, support for strategic sectors and financial
Nafta’s failure in Mexico has a direct impact on the United States.
Although it has declined recently, jobless Mexicans migrated to the
United States at an unprecedented rate of half a million a year after Nafta.
Workers in both countries lose when companies move, when companies
threaten to move as leverage in negotiations, and when nations like
Mexico lower labor rights and environmental enforcement to attract
Farmers lose when transnational corporations take over the land they
supported their families on for generations. Consumers lose with the
imposition of a food production model heavy on chemical use, corporate
concentration, genetically modified seed and processed foods. Border
communities lose when lower environmental standards for investors affect
The increase in people living in poverty
feeds organized crime recruitment and the breakdown of communities.
Increased border activity facilitates smuggling arms and illegal
After promising to renegotiate Nafta for many of these reasons, the
Obama administration is now pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The
Pacific pact [TPP], which is a regional Nafta-style trade agreement, would
grant even greater privileges to transnational corporations and would
exacerbate problems for Mexico and other developing countries.
That’s not good for them, and it’s not good for the United States."
Among comments to Nov. 2013 NY Times article:
25 November 2013
27 days ago
a retired US Border Patrol, INS/ICE agent, it has taken me years to not
only understand but face the truth: NAFTA exacerbates illegal
immigration which provides the US corporate elite with not only cheap
labor but billions of US tax dollars in border security boodle.
insidious system of Illegal immigration is not unlike its
corporatization and profitization of its 40+ year long, "failed" drug
Putting it simply there is more continuous profit to be
made in creating and maintaining these problems than to actually solve
Two thoughts: There is a reason produce from
Mexico is "cheap." Small farms in Mexico are a thing of the past.
Corporate farming with its low wages and mechanization guarantees a low
price. It is not romantic to say this is a loss. The colorful
paintings on crosses and murals, showing people in their gardens, sheep
in their pen, perhaps a church, certainly a street filled with people
talking and trading show what perhaps was, and could be. Twenty-five
years ago did people in Juarez fear for their lives? Many thousands
have now been killed in the drug wars. Were there drugs 25 years ago?
There were. Like this? I don't think so. The rise in drug violence seems to coincide with NAFTA. Or so it seems to me."