Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Outstanding Success of NAFTA...

Yes, it has been so amazingly successful that last week 27 representatives introduced legislation that would withdraw the US from the trade agreement entirely. Kudos!

Why, might you ask, would a legislator want to withdraw from this famously fruitful agreement? Most likely because it HASN’T BEEN and their constituents are a little pissed off that over the last 15 years NAFTA has caused over one million lost jobs (and that was in 2006).

Aha, you say, we lost some jobs, but what about Mexico? These free trade agreements are all about helping the developing world, right? And Mexico has benefited tremendously, right?

Not so says a study from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The authors conclude, quite bluntly:

“After 15 years, it seems clear that Nafta’s promise of broad-based dynamic growth did not come true in Mexico.”

The failures include, but are not limited to:

1.6 percent per capita growth between 1992-2007 (low even for Mexico).
2.3 million less agricultural jobs, compared to just 500,000 more manufacturing jobs.
The wage gap between the US and Mexico is BIGGER than it was pre-NAFTA.

Remember, while still a candidate Obama pledged to open up NAFTA and make reforms. Once in office, well, maybe next year.


Look no further then the LA Times to see some other lovely consequences of NAFTA. Knowing that opening up would mean devastation to the poorest farmers, Mexico created a fund that would help farmers get by. The LA Times reports:

Today, the fund -- far from helping the neediest -- is providing large financial subsidies to the families of notorious drug traffickers and several senior government officials, including the agriculture minister.

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