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How NAFTA destroyed Mexico's corn-growing families (increasing undocumented immigrants by 500k/yr)

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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 10:33 AM
Original message
How NAFTA destroyed Mexico's corn-growing families (increasing undocumented immigrants by 500k/yr)
NAFTA has made unauthorized border crossings much worse as the Mexican Corn Refugees stream across the border so they can afford to EAT.

U.S. Corn Subsidies Said to Damage Mexico

Published: August 27, 2003

The more than $10 billion that American taxpayers give corn farmers every year in agricultural subsidies has helped destroy the livelihoods of millions of small Mexican farmers, according to a report to be released on Wednesday.

Prepared in advance of critical trade talks next month, the report by Oxfam International argues that the subsidies given American corn farmers allow them to sell their grain at prices far below what it costs to produce. That has led to cheap American corn flooding the Mexican market and pushing the poorest Mexican farmers out of business, the report said.

''There is a direct link between government agricultural policies in the U.S. and rural misery in Mexico,'' according to the report entitled, ''Dumping Without Borders: How U.S. agricultural policies are destroying the livelihoods of Mexican corn farmers.''

...

Mexico, the birthplace of corn, opened its borders to American corn exports after signing the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994. Within a year, corn imports from the United States doubled and today nearly one-third of the corn used in Mexico is imported from the United States. The United States is the biggest exporter of corn in the world and the biggest exporter of corn to Mexico.

The report said the price of Mexican corn has fallen more than 70 percent since Nafta took effect, severely reducing the incomes of the 15 million Mexicans who depend on corn for their livelihood.

But Bush administration officials said the Mexican government gave some price support to its corn farmers. The support is minimal, however, since the entire Mexican agricultural budget is only one-tenth the size of the subsidies given to American corn farmers alone, according to the Oxfam report.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9902E3DB1039F934A1575BC0A9659C8B63
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. NAFTA was a plague on both countries. A germ engineered in the halls
of the federal government and abetted by money grubbing chislers on both sides of the border.
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The Croquist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Do you remember the Ross Perot "Giant Sucking Sound" comment?
The giant sucking sound was right but it wasn't jobs going south it was jobs going north.

We've lost plenty of jobs but it wasn't to Mexico or Canada. It was to India, Ireland and China.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Not true, the Clintons' NAFTA made MExican factories in the north of the country
and they did steal jobs. Plus many small US farmers were wiped out and lost their farms.
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. oh, bull. America is losing farmers rapidly too.
NAFTA hasn't expanded farm jobs at all in America; all its done is make large corporate farms more profitable than family farms, wiping out family farmers in both Mexico and America. Which is what the corporations wanted from NAFTA in the first place. Mexican farmers lost their farms in Mexico, but they aren't coming up to the US to farm.

How clueless can you be?
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-25-08 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. I agree and Bill signed it and Hillary touted it
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
3. This could be a good way to fight Rep anti immigrant propaganda.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Ding! Ding! Ding! WE HAVE A WINNER!
That's why I posted it.

Go to the head of the class and tell everyone how this REFRAMES the WHOLE IMMIGRATION DEBATE.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. It sure does. Nafta did nothing to stop US jobs from going to Asia. It
did open markets for our agribusiness in third world countries, and set up conditions that would ensure a steady supply of desperate illegal immigrants to work American farms.

Our convenience food/fast food industry is based on corn. When you eat beef, you are eating the end product of corn. Chances are the meat was fried in corn oil. That special sauce could be full of corn oil and corn starch. ("In Defense of Food" Michael Pollan for more about corn in our diet)
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Yes, half or more of the immigrants are not coming here for a better life, they're coming
because we destroyed the corn culture of Mexico, an entire segment of the economy! So those unauthorized border are not their fault, it's ours. But we can fix it with about $500 million to get farmers back on the land, stop dumping corn and restore the culture and communities.

I told the Obama campaign to do that.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. American's are corn eaters whether they know it or not. Corn and Soybean
is the foundation of our faux food industry.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
7. This is the real crime of the century. The smoking gun which proves
that big business, which has too much influence on public policy, is creating impoverished situations, which is the cause behind our illegal alien problem.

The greedy, create the needy. Unplugged.
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Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
11. kick
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
12. Economic refugees.
Cheap labor and free market types just love that sort of thing.
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