Saturday, July 9, 2016

NAFTA's failure in Mexico directly impacts the United States. Mexicans moved to the US at an unprecedented rate of half a million a year after NAFTA-NY Times, Nov. 2013

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”

Twenty-five percent 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 controls. 

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 investment. 

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 shared ecosystems.

The increase in people living in poverty feeds organized crime recruitment and the breakdown of communities. Increased border activity facilitates smuggling arms and illegal substances.

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:

"Stephen Perry Somers, ny 25 November 2013

But it's all good for the corporations. As usual the 99% lose in all the ways pointed out above by Ms. Carlsen. The American population has been sold out, thrown under the bus and generally commodified by their government. The same, if not worse, has happened to citizens of other countries also sold out by their supposed democratic governments. The only way to stop this madness is for the voting populations to educate themselves and wise up the the reality of what the free market really means to the rest of us."


"Nunya B.
USA 27 days ago
Countries need to cut themselves off economically from other countries that don't share similar labor standards etc. These trade deals concentrate wealth in the hands of a small few. Even if this results in higher GDP temporarily it is devastating to the economy. More money in more hands makes a healthy economy, not letting a company play wage/buying power arbitrage across borders. Countries need to reign in their company's, not give them extra-national immunity to laws like TPP does."


"John A. Randolph Colorado 9 November 2014

As 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.

Washington's insidious system of Illegal immigration is not unlike its corporatization and profitization of its 40+ year long, "failed" drug war.

Putting it simply there is more continuous profit to be made in creating and maintaining these problems than to actually solve them."

"laurac Portland 21 January 2014 

Mexico was forced to eliminate subsidies, most notably on the tortilla. These subsidies kept the price of basic food accessible to the urban poor. Second, the concentration of food production, distribution and trade in the hands of a few companies led to price manipulation as seen in the tortilla crisis of 2007 when prices rose sharply and led to massive demonstrations. Mexico's experience with imports of US subsidized foods and a concentrated international market has shown that the "free market" is a misnomer."


"Praytel Minneapolis 25 November 2013


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."


"Cogito State of Mind 15 June 2015 

Yes, it's not a happy thought that the Mexican tomatoes I buy at the supermarket are most likely coming from corporate farms that displaced individually owned farms that helped feed Mexicans."



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