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Old 12-27-2009, 02:42 PM
 
1,448 posts, read 2,731,298 times
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MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s former president, Carlos Salinas, used to promise that free trade and foreign investment would jump-start this country’s development, empowering a richer and more prosperous Mexico “to export goods, not people.”

Fifteen years after the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect, only the first part of that promise has been realized.
Mexico’s exports have exploded under Nafta, quintupling to $292 billion last year, but Mexico is still exporting people too, almost half a million each year, seeking opportunities in the United States that they do not have at home.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/24/bu...pagewanted=all
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:47 AM
 
Location: The world, where will fate take me this time?
3,162 posts, read 10,472,775 times
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I've always believed that NAFTA has hindered Mexico's development more than accelerating it.

First of all, many businesses had to close because they couldn't compete with the USA (specially agricuculture, because of american subsidies, etc) This had the consequence of tenfold increase in emigration from rural areas, it also made Mexico dependant on US imports from many food products that were produced here before, and it has created a vicious circle because people from rural areas emigrate to the USA looking for work because they can't compete with US agrobusiness, and they are hired by them in the USA to harvest the food we all eat.

Some areas though have been benefited from NAFTA like the producers from avocado, tomato, sugar and vegetables, which in turn has made the USA more dependant on these products from Mexico.

Another problem I see with it is that it has made Mexico's economy too dependant on the USA, and because of this the crisis hit us way harder than other latinamerican countries, 80% of the exports from Mexico go to the USA while Brazil has a much more diversified export oriented economy.

Also, there isn't even a true NAFTA, or at least it is an unfair treaty, because Mexico gives way too much and receives little in return, American and Canadian trucks can come and go, but Mexican trucks are restricted by silly excuses, because of this, Mexico won the controversy placed in the OMC and now many american products have tariffs again.

Some things have been positive though, because of Nafta Mexico became one of the top automobile producers of the world, and unlike other latinamerican countries who only assemble the cars, a lot of technology and innovations are produced here, Nafta also created the maquila boom that created jobs in the border, and it was the spark that ignited the development of the aerospace industry.

Yet the problem has been that NAFTA has been good or very for some entrepreneurs, and the middle class that can buy a lot of things that come from the USA much cheaper than in other countries, yet the poor from both countries have suffered, peasants here had to emigrate to the USA or the cities because of NAFTA, and American workers have suffered of unfair competence by illegal immigrants. The main problem I see with it is that it was never designed to benefit the poor, but the rich of our countries and their interests which have increased their assets since the NAFTA was enacted, and another problem is that the Mexican government never had a real plan that would have made NAFTA work, they just thought that magically this country was going to be on the level of the USA and Canada by enacting it.

If the mexican governments had opened the oil industry, reduced the cost of bureacracy and increased it's efficiency, if the fiscal system had been reformed, the laws were enforced and corruption was fought, and if all the illegal privileges that government syndicates enjoy were removed, we were telling another story.

Fortunately there is still time, and something is true Mexico is not the same country it was when the Nafta was signed, back then we weren't a democracy and we didn't know what was macroeconomic stability, changes have come slow but they are coming.

Regards
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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That pretty well sums up NAFTA. It has benefitted some of the very wealthy of both countries, not so much the average people.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:02 PM
 
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Living near Juarez, it's really hard to see how NAFTA benefitted anything. You see the houses made from wooden pallets of many, many of the maquila workers live in them. The killing of many young maquila women and girls.

The big population explosion, people moving by the hundreds of thousands to Juarez which overwhelmed the local infrastructure. The paracaista communities, hundreds of them sprung up overnight outside of the town, many people from lush green regions of the southern states and Central America arriving to get on too few jobs, to live in a semi-arid city they never before knew.

From Juarez police and including the Chihuahua judiciales which we're supposed to believe are all corrupt, many of the problems was that there were far too few police, too few schools, and the local taxpayers couldn't provide more and many of them were packing up and leaving. Out in the sierras to the south and east, the colonias became "no man lands" where no police dared to enter because even 2 decades ago, that meant they'd be shot and killed, so they patrolled in town, kept some kind of law and order but now that's gone.

I've dealt with Juarez police before, back then they were certainly not all bad, not all corrupt except for the usual mordida, but a lot of the problems of Juarez I think are the direct result of NAFTA but also problems that built up over some decades.

It's like they were saying on one show that was broadcast a while back in Juarez "Massive migrations of people result from social instability and corruption but they result in more social instability and corruption."

One of the biggest mistakes of NAFTA was the building of plants only along the border, unlike the Volkswagon plant built near Puebla that led to much positive things. Making people uproot and move to a distant place that lacks water and has a much harsher climate was not good.
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:38 PM
 
Location: NW Houston
1,150 posts, read 2,870,464 times
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I'm not registering with NYT just to see the article. Is it about the recent Carnegie study on the impacts of NAFTA? If so, I have a lot of issues with that "study".

Anyway, I think one of Mexico's biggest mistakes, along with being too dependent on the U.S., is betting the farm on the strategy of attracting manufacturing with low labor costs. That's an area that China and other 3rd world countries run circles around them. Once a company decides to open or move a plant outside the U.S., there's little reason to stop just across the border.

But a lot of the negative effects were inevitable as a cost of joining a world economy. Being forced to compete in the world economy has been painful but has also driven massive improvements in infrastructure. It can take generations to retool an economy but Mexico was not going to be able to remain isolated and closed forever. The gap in efficiency and productivity would have only increased further without NAFTA.
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:31 AM
 
972 posts, read 3,569,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High Springs Gator View Post
MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s former president, Carlos Salinas, used to promise that free trade and foreign investment would jump-start this country’s development, empowering a richer and more prosperous Mexico “to export goods, not people.”

Fifteen years after the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect, only the first part of that promise has been realized.
Mexico’s exports have exploded under Nafta, quintupling to $292 billion last year, but Mexico is still exporting people too, almost half a million each year, seeking opportunities in the United States that they do not have at home.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/24/bu...pagewanted=all

NAFTA has benefited us greatly. Mexican companies are more competitive now and people have access to learn other things in their work, besides that to increase the variety of products in our country making them more accessible to all social classes.

In this world with or without NAFTA there will always be winners and losers. I think that Mexico is on the side of the winners.
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