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NAFTA
December 12, 2002 10:02 AM   Subscribe

It's the ten-year anniversary of NAFTA this week. Has it been a success? [more inside].
posted by acridrabbit (31 comments total)

 
Well, President Fox of Mexico says it has been beneficial, but poor farmers in Mexico say they are worse off than before. International trade figures have doubled (that's pretty good) but unemployment has gone up (bad).

And in Canada, the US having higher environmental standards (!) means that Canadian environmentalists say that NAFTA has been successful there.

In the US, we're supposed to be building an extension to US HWY 69, making it the "NAFTA Superhighway", but that project has stalled and maybe turned into a bit of a boondoggle. Finally, there have been quite a few job losses that can be attributed to NAFTA in the auto and textile industries here (but it doesn't sound like it has been as bad as people (Perot) predicted). Of course, these people vehemently disagree and say that NAFTA has failed the "do-no-harm" test.
posted by acridrabbit at 10:02 AM on December 12, 2002


From personal experience in the small-farm industry, I can say that the doom and gloom scenarios most small farmers predicted have not come true. However certain provisions of NAFTA are staggered and haven't been put in place yet, and we may well still see the destruction or further corporatization of family farms in the West and Southwest as trade barriers continue to fall.
posted by cell divide at 10:07 AM on December 12, 2002


... afta Nafta there was lafta cuz it can't be reversed ...

Sorry, had to do it.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:00 AM on December 12, 2002


Has it been a success?

Of course! Now the corporations that used to pay those outrageous $14/hour salaries to greedy Americans now only have to pay $2/hour to those poor Mexicans.

But then again, when enough Americans lose their jobs and can't afford the products those corporations are producing, I'm not sure what the case will be.. But hey, at least the CEOs will have made their $billions by then.. Which of course will 'trickle-down' to the rest of us peasants.
posted by eas98 at 11:22 AM on December 12, 2002


Now the corporations that used to pay those outrageous $14/hour salaries to greedy Americans now only have to pay $2/hour to those poor Mexicans.

...because Mexicans with jobs make baby Jesus cry?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:36 AM on December 12, 2002


Now the corporations that used to pay those outrageous $14/hour salaries to greedy Americans now only have to pay $2/hour to those poor Mexicans.

Yes!. It's just too bad corporations that have to pay other greedy Americans $120,000/year to "track cargo" can't send those jobs to Mexico too. Hopefully, someday they will.
posted by MidasMulligan at 12:08 PM on December 12, 2002


I'm sorry, MidasMulligan, but the Washington Times is not a reputable news source. Neither is UPI.
posted by four panels at 12:16 PM on December 12, 2002


I'm one of the 240 million Americans who still haven't read this NAFTA book you're all talking about. I tried reading it, so I'd have something to talk about at parties, but really couldn't stay awake after the dreadedly complicated Chapter Three. Could someone tell me how it ends?
posted by RJ Reynolds at 12:22 PM on December 12, 2002


In the event that a Party adopts or maintains a prohibition or restriction on the importation from or exportation to a non-Party of a good, nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to prevent the Party from limiting or prohibiting the importation from the territory of another Party of such good of that non-Party.

Is the problem that they translated the whole book from the Mexican to the Canadian, and only then into American?
posted by RJ Reynolds at 12:26 PM on December 12, 2002


I'm sorry, MidasMulligan, but the Washington Times is not a reputable news source.

Why not?
posted by BlueTrain at 12:47 PM on December 12, 2002


four panels, by what do you measure "reputable"? Just because the WT and UPI are right-wing, compared to your (surely you would acknowledge) extreme left-wingitude, doesn't mean they have diminished credibility for their news and wire reporting. Just because they are more conservative than you does not mean they make shit up. In certain instances, UPI has every bit the quality as any of the other wire services. In short, four panels, you are not metafilter. Get over it.
posted by dhartung at 12:47 PM on December 12, 2002


Thank you dhartung....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:52 PM on December 12, 2002


[nitpick]

December 17 will be the ten year anniversary of the date NAFTA was signed. It did not go into affect until Jan. 1, 2004.

[/nitpick]

Also: here's an interesting NAFTA retrospective.
posted by Kneebiter at 1:02 PM on December 12, 2002


Why not ?

I'm glad you asked.
posted by four panels at 1:17 PM on December 12, 2002


Don't forget to check out Rev. Moon's homepage.

Then come back and let us know if its reputable or not.
posted by four panels at 1:19 PM on December 12, 2002


More often now, the global companies that own maquiladoras are closing up shop and transferring operations to China to take advantage of lower taxes, investment subsidies and outrageously cheap labor. On June 29, Royal Philips Electronics announced it was moving its P.C. monitor manufacturing operations, at a cost of 900 jobs. On July 1, Scientific Atlanta fired 1,300 workers after shutting its plant down. According to the Nov. 5 New York Times, this trend has cost Juarez 287,000 jobs in the maquiladoras since their peak in October 2000.

from salon. *warning* the feature is actually about the horrific unsolved and ongoing murders of poor mexican women in juarez.
posted by lescour at 1:20 PM on December 12, 2002


Yikes. Sorry, that date for implementation of NAFTA should have been Jan. 1, 1994!
posted by Kneebiter at 2:02 PM on December 12, 2002


Four panels: How do you feel about Christian Science Monitor? Same way?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:09 PM on December 12, 2002


four panels, do you happen to have any factual or credibility problems with a current UPI or Washington Times article? More specifically, do you have any factual or credibility rebuttals to the piece that Midas linked to? Oh, I know, you don't dare even read them, for fear of the taint of the Moon. Guilt by association, apparently, is your stock in trade.

I don't like Moon, either, you know -- nor do I agree with everything the WT or UPI publishes. But I prefer to separate the wheat from the chaff myself, using my brain. Your methods, of course, may differ.
posted by dhartung at 2:26 PM on December 12, 2002


For an overview of the damage NAFTA has done to the environment, to local government and peoples, and to democracy itself, see Trading Democracy.

Yes!. It's just too bad corporations that have to pay other greedy Americans $120,000/year to "track cargo" can't send those jobs to Mexico too. Hopefully, someday they will.

Yes! And maybe they can farm out to Mexico the real deadwood in any organization... greedy American managers and executive/CEO types without skills (like "tracking cargo"), or the ability to produce anything commensurate with their ridiculous salaries, if their lives depended upon it. Hopefully, we'll soon see you calling for that kind of noble business efficiency as well. We really can't wait.

In certain instances, UPI has every bit the quality as any of the other wire services.

"In certain instances....". Wow, talk about damning with faint praise. Is that your standard for all news organizations, or just the ones that cater to right wing ideologues? One imagines that "in certain instances", even the press releases of Goebbels had every bit the quality of other wire services. Is that what you meant?

Thank you dhartung....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:52 PM PST on December 12


Nice contribution to the thread. If I could just follow up on your point....can you tell us why is it so easy to picture certain posters wearing cheerleaders' outfits, and carrying pink pom poms?

In short, four panels, you are not metafilter. Get over it.

Gee, another pertinent point on NAFTA. So let's get right into it. One might argue that those who post most frequently and voluminously to MetaFilter are probably the more guilty of wanting to "be MetaFilter". Should we investigate that a bit? Perhaps they should just get over it...ya think?

But let's be brief. Dhartung, neither are you MetaFilter. Get over it.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 2:29 PM on December 12, 2002


Well, actually those clerks who "track cargo" are being moded out through attrition and replaced with computers. That was, in a large way, what the strike was about - not moving jobs to mexico. It's actually pretty beneficial to unload cargo bound for US markets in the US. This is off topic, however, I just wanted to prevent any ILWU bashing.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:57 PM on December 12, 2002


Fold, your last 4 paragraphs were of ZERO value. Perhaps we should try taking a higher road when trying to attempt credible posts.
posted by BlueTrain at 3:01 PM on December 12, 2002


You know, f&m, if you have a personal issue with me, my email is posted in my profile. That would be the appropriate way to deal with it.... I have nos problem if you want to disagree with my ideological viewpoint on things, but really grow up...

and oh f&m, you too are not MetaFilter, get over yourself...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:03 PM on December 12, 2002


I urge anyone who takes this site too seriously to just step back and take a breath. There is no point in cutting down others to make your point (whether it is done elegently or inelegently really doesn't matter), in fact all it does is provoke a response that is equally worthless for the 95% of us who enjoy actual debate and not usenet style cockfights.
posted by cell divide at 3:14 PM on December 12, 2002


Looks like another intelligent, focused, non-ideological, informative political thread on MeFi. That makes four or five in a row!

Boy, was Matt ever wrong when he asked us to refrain from taking up the limited power of his server, where he has graciously invited us as guests, by using it to further our personal political opinions. Why do you need to respect other people when there's a war on?

We're just so cool to be on the side of all that is right and true.
posted by fuzz at 4:53 PM on December 12, 2002


Bissell Corporation, which benefited to the tune of millions in tax breaks granted them by the citizens of the city of Walker (a Grand Rapids MI suburb) over the last 15 years recently announced they are shutting the hometown plant, shitcanning 4-500 jobs in the process and moving to mexico. old Silas should have bombed the family business instead of fucking around with r.o.t.c. buildings.
posted by quonsar at 5:32 PM on December 12, 2002


Gosh, fold_and_mutilate makes another Nazi reference. What a surprise. Perhaps it's the only way he thinks he can win an argument. Well, that and personal caricature.

It's just like ancient Athens, it is.
posted by dhartung at 10:38 PM on December 12, 2002


"Increasing access to international markets for U.S. exports."
While continuing to restrict international access to U.S. markets where it serves our purposes and appeases our steel/lumber/farm etc lobbyists.
posted by islander at 11:59 PM on December 12, 2002


...because Mexicans with jobs make baby Jesus cry?

oh please. what doesn't make him cry?
posted by tolkhan at 8:34 AM on December 13, 2002


...because Mexicans with jobs make baby Jesus cry?

oh please. what doesn't make him cry?


People sending large sums of cash or the occasional Aston-Martin?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:25 AM on December 13, 2002


sending them to *ME*, that is. Duh.

Bad hands, bad!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:36 AM on December 13, 2002


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