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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:36 AM

15. Excellent interview with Lori Wallach

Joshua Holland: What about Canada and Mexico? I know Mexico’s agricultural labor market was devastated by NAFTA, as subsidized corn and other products flooded into the country, and it certainly spurred a huge wave of immigration from the south, as all those agricultural workers lost their jobs. But in terms of employment in other sectors, did it end up a net winner or loser for them?

Lori Wallach : Also, if you look at Mexico, the level of poverty has stayed the same, but income inequality has increased, and industrial wages are actually down in real terms.

One statistic that really shows the failure of the free trade model is that the price paid to Mexico’s farmers for their corn dropped 80 percent within the first three years of NAFTA, as a huge flood of subsidized US corn started flowing in. But the price Mexicans pay for tortillas—a staple food—has increased almost 300 percent. Under free trade theory, some folks lose — those corn farmers lose — but everyone is supposed to get richer because prices go down. That is the theory of free trade — the consumer benefits, and the producer who loses should be compensated — and the tortilla shows how that promise has been proven false.

There are many reasons for this. NAFTA wasn’t just about trade. It set up all these rules that, for instance, allowed Archer Daniels to buy up not only the processing plants for corn, but also to buy a stake in one of the biggest tortilla makers, Bimbo, which is sort of the Wonder Bread of Mexico. And as a result, you have Archer Daniels and other companies selling to themselves, and marking up the profit margin each time. So with this “competition” that free trade is supposed to create, with all these corporate rights to acquire and basically monopolize sectors, the consumer is the loser.


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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
marmar Jan 2014 OP
jsr Jan 2014 #1
Baitball Blogger Jan 2014 #7
Enthusiast Jan 2014 #17
abelenkpe Jan 2014 #2
R. Daneel Olivaw Jan 2014 #11
X_Digger Jan 2014 #3
L0oniX Jan 2014 #23
Fumesucker Jan 2014 #4
democratisphere Jan 2014 #5
Barack_America Jan 2014 #6
doc03 Jan 2014 #8
El_Johns Jan 2014 #13
doc03 Jan 2014 #25
El_Johns Jan 2014 #26
doc03 Jan 2014 #28
El_Johns Jan 2014 #31
L0oniX Jan 2014 #24
Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #9
TheKentuckian Jan 2014 #20
indie9197 Jan 2014 #10
solarhydrocan Jan 2014 #12
TL_dem68 Jan 2014 #21
flamingdem Jan 2014 #14
LineReply Excellent interview with Lori Wallach
octoberlib Jan 2014 #15
Luminous Animal Jan 2014 #16
Enthusiast Jan 2014 #18
Name removed Jan 2014 #19
L0oniX Jan 2014 #22
IDemo Jan 2014 #27
El_Johns Jan 2014 #29
treestar Jan 2014 #30
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