NAFTA's Legacy for Mexico: Economic Displacement, rnLower Wages for Most, Increased MigrationrnNAFTA Devastated Mexico's Rural Sector and Increased PovertyrnThe North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was sold to the people of all three countries with rngrand promises. Mexicans were promised NAFTA would raise their wages and bring Mexicans' rnstandards of living closer to the United States and Canada. Instead, after 24 years, real wages in Mexico rnare down from already low prern-rnNAFTA wages, two million Mexicans engaged in farming lost their rnlivelihoods and lands, tens of thousands of small businesses have gone bankrupt as American bigrn-rnbox rnretailers moved in, and poverty remains widespread. And, Mexican taxpayers have paid foreign rninvestors more than $204 million in compensation following Investorrn-rnState Dispute Settlement attacks.rnPrior to NAFTA, 21.4 percent of rnMexico's population earned less than rnthe minimum income needed for food, a rnshare that has barely budged in the 24 rnyears since NAFTA's implementation. rnToday, over half of the Mexican rnpopulation and over 60 percent of the rnrural population still fall below the rnpoverty line, contrary to the promises rnmade by NAFTA's proponents. On the rn10rn-rnyear anniversary of NAFTA, the rnWashington Postrnreported: "19 million rnmore Mexicans are living in poverty rnthan 20 years ago, according to the rnMexican government and international rnorganizations." rnBefore NAFTA, Mexico only imported rncorn and other basic food commodities if local production did not meet domestic needs. NAFTA rneliminated Mexican tariffs on corn and other commodities. NAFTA terms also required revocation of rnprograms supporting small farmers. But NAFTA did not discipline U.S. subsidies on agriculture. The rnresult was disastrous for millions of people in the Mexican countryside whose livelihoods relied on rnagriculture. Amid a NAFTArn-rnspurred influx of cheap U.S. corn, the price paid to Mexican farmers for the rncorn that they grew fell by 66 percent, forcing many to abandon farming. From 1991 to 2007, about 2 rnmillion Mexicans engaged in farming and related work lost their livelihoods. Mexico's participation in rnNAFTA was conditioned on changing its revolutionaryrn-rnera Constitution's land reforms, undoing rnprovisions that guaranteed small plots (rn"ejidosrn") to millions of Mexicans living in rural villages. As corn rnprices plummeted, indebted farmers lost their land, which newly could be acquired by foreign firms that rnconsolidated prime acres into large plantations.rnAccording to a New Republic exposé: "as cheap American foodstuffs flooded Mexico's markets and as rnU.S. agribusiness moved in, 1.1 million small farmers rn-rnand 1.4 million other Mexicans dependent upon rnthe farm sector rn-rnwere driven out of work between 1993 and 2005. Wages dropped so precipitously that rntoday the income of a farm laborer is onern-rnthird that of what it was before NAFTA." The exposé noted rnthat, as jobs and wages fell, many rural Mexicans joined the ranks of the 12 million undocumented rnimmigrants competing for lowrn-rnwage jobs in the United States. rnThough the price paid to Mexican farmers plummeted after NAFTA, the newly deregulated retail price of rntortillas rn-rnMexico's staple food rn-rnshot up 279 percent in the pact's first 10 years. This contradicts free rntrade theory, which predicts that gains from liberalization come on the import side as all consumers enjoy rnlower prices, while injury only occurs to those in sectors directly displaced by imports. But, NAFTA rnincluded service sector and investment rules that facilitated consolidation of grain trading, milling, baking rnand retail. So in short order the relatively few remaining large firms dominating these activities were able rnto raise the prices paid by Mexican consumers and reap extra profits as corn costs simultaneously rndeclined. This problem is ongoing; Recent reports show that U.S. exports of corn, wheat, soybeans and rnrice are all sold below production costs, devastating Mexico's agricultural sector.
How milk prices got so low that farmers started receiving suicide hotline numbers with their payments--and what Congress can do to fix it.
Make no mistake, we're reliving the 1930s. Today, America's President decided to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum - and is apparently planning to "ban German luxury cars". I hope you like that
Hilary Wainwright explores the turbulent history of 1968 social movements - and what they can teach us about building counter-power today.
A new paper by Thomas Piketty finds that major parties on both sides of the political spectrum have been captured by elites and warns of a future political system that pits "globalists" against "nativists." Economists and political scientists often point to rising inequality as one of the main drivers of the current wave of populist politics engulfing Europe and the US. Income and wealth inequality have been at the forefront of the political debate across Western democracies for a long time, fueling voter dissatisfaction and leading to the widespread perception that the system is "rigged." And yet Western
Global food production increased with over 50% between 1986 and 2009. Meanwhile the trade in food for direct human consumption has incr...
As long as liberals allow themselves to be divided by identity politics and the culture wars, they will be under the heel of a rapacious corporate capitalism.
Localism can only flourish with a competent, generous, and fair federal government.
When it comes to being poor, geography is destiny. But do we just leave blighted communities to die?
3D printing is a rising threat for world trade. According to a new ING report, world trade will be 23% lower in 2060 if the growth of investments in 3D printers continues at the current pace. If investments accelerate domestically printed goods could already wipe out 40% of world imports in 2040.
A groundbreaking study in Elsevier's Ecological Economics journal by two French economists, for the first time proves the world has passed a point-of-no-return in its capacity to extract fossil fuel
I have a theory that much recent tech development and innovation over the last decade or so has had an unspoken overarching agenda-it has
STYLE is supposedly for ever. But the garments needed to conjure up eternal chic are spending less time on shop racks and in homes than ever before.
This is the first in a series of blog posts were I'll attempt to provide a rough outline of the positions of this emerging Alt-Left. You will find, over the years, that these positions will become ...
In viaggio con un trasportatore italiano su un camion tra Treviso e la Slovenia. Il dumping sul costo del lavoro taglia i posti e riduce la sicurezza. "Il
From writers to readers, from booksellers to librarians, from new releases to antiquarian discoveries, the Seattle Review of Books examines exactly what it means to love books and writing in Seattle in the 21st century. The book review is an underrated art form, and we publish as much beautiful writing about books as humanly possible.
By: Executive Director, Fair World Project
There's no place like home." That's the lesson. Even when home is Kansas. The real meaning of this election is not, as bitterly disappointed Hillary supporters still maintain with tears in their eyes and fear in their throats, a victory for racism and sexism. The real meaning of this upset is that Wall Street's globalization project has been rejected by the citizens of its homeland.