Gray Panthers of San Francisco
September 2006 Newsletter

NAFTA, We Told You So


Our June newsletter had an article about the effects of NAFTA, CAFTA, and GATT, the North American forced trade agreements. Here is a specific follow-up excerpted from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, July 31, 2006:

Mexico’s corn farmers see their livelihoods wither away. Cheap US produce pushes down prices under free-trade pact.

An estimated 1.5 million agricultural jobs have been lost since NAFTA went into effect in 1994…. “The Bush administration has sought to control immigration at the border, but that’s virtually impossible,” said Harley Shaiken, director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Latin American studies. “The beginnings of immigration are in the displacement of farmers in Mexico”….American corn exports to Mexico—now one-fifth of the corn consumed there—have more than tripled in NAFTA’s first 10 years, and USDA predicts they will double again in the coming decade….”There’s no way peasant farmers in Oaxaca are going to be competitive with highly subsidized, very productive farms in Iowa” says Shaiken….Free trade advocates say the squeeze that Mexico’s peasant farmers are feeling is an unfortunate but necessary byproduct of entering the global economy.

Collateral damage. Too bad there are real people involved.

Read the Gray Panther June Newsletter article on NAFTA/CAFTA.

Read the entire SF Chronicle article "Mexico's corn farmers see their livelihoods wither away, Cheap U.S. produce pushes down prices under free-trade pact."


(back to September 2006 Newsletter front page)