Sunday, November 11, 2007

NAFTA Inequality and Immigration

Students, Check out this 4-page report [pdf] titled "NAFTA Inequality and Immigration" written by Laura Carlsen, October 31, 2007, of the Americas Policy Program. Laura, someone I know from many years ago when we both went to school at Stanford, lives in Mexico City now.

The the Americas Policy Program is is maintained by International Relations Center for the IRC Americas Program.

This is a very interesting article that addresses, among other things, the impact that NAFTA has had on Mexico's economy with a special focus on corn, and thusly, tortilla prices. The U.S.'s and other countries demand for agrofuel production as a substitute source of energy in the production of Ethanol, remains a long-term concern for Mexico's "food sovereignty and consumer access to basic foods." Carlsen further maintains that the price of corn was artificially inflated (i.e., it skyrocketed in Mexico last year) by multinationals Cargill, ADM-Maseca and other corn flour producers--EVEN AS CORN PRODUCTION IN MX WAS VERY HIGH. The story gets even worse when we see that local corn mills were driven out by these corporations. NAFTA made all of this possible, too, since before NAFTA, the Mexican government itself had control, playing "an active role in buying and distributing corn throughout the country, subsidizing urban consumptionand guaranteeing a price floor to producers."

Carlsen provides an excellent presentation and critique of neoliberal reforms.

-Angela

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