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NAFTA Has Harmed Mexico a Lot More than Any Wall Could Do


NAFTA Has Harmed Mexico a Lot More than Any Wall Could Do

Mark Weisbrot

President Trump is unlikely to fulfill his dream of forcing Mexico to pay for his proposed wall along the United States' Southern border.

If it is built, though, U.S. taxpayers will almost certainly foot the bill, which some have estimated could be as high as $50 billion.

With that said, it's worth taking a step back to look at the economics of U.S.-Mexican relations to see how immigration from Mexico even became a political issue someone like Trump could use to his advantage.


Yes, a very correct assessment (sadly). This has been the policy of the USA and its right arm the IMF. A good account of the operating principles can be found in the Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins.


The only infrastructure that should be built are the bridges and roads which are in desperate need of repair . In addition additional jobs could be provided. Also I would like to say this: It seems that since the 1960s the US ( especially since the 1980s) has basically not fined or closed down companies which deliberately hire illegals therefore driving down the middle class wages of US citizens. Instead of deporting individuals, target the companies that keep this policy going. Also, let's stop outsourcing jobs and workers to other countries.


Yeah, why would one leave home, family and everything familiar to try to go the the US as an undocumented immigrant? Mexican compesinos were wiped out by low price US agricultural imports from capitalist, corporate US farms and were forced off their land. All they want is to have a decent life. They're just people like we are.


How about al of the workers in the US who lost their jobs decades ago? If you're so worried about Mexico, then move there. Obviously, you yourself or anyone you know did not lose their jobs. Typical elitist.


Do the millions of people who are US citizens who had their jobs outsourced try to illegally cross borders to work? If they do, they are deported or sent to jail or both. American companies who illegally hire these people to use them for cheap labor need to be shut down. Also, what about the people who emigrated here legally ? What a slap in the face to those people.


Farms right here were wiped out in small towns and rural areas right here in the US because they can't compete with low prices that are offered by WalMart.


When you have something substantive to add to this debate that directly responds to my comment, please post because you haven't yet. You just indulge in right wing smears and talking points. Naming and blaming aren't reasons for believing anything.


Did I call you names? No. I stated an opinion and did not realize this was a debate, and I happen to be from the Green Party! Not everyone has to agree, and it just so happens that many small farms right here in the US were wiped out by taxes, and competition . Who 's going to take care of them? You obviously do not live in a community that is rural or have no connection to these issues.


Did I call you names? Respond substantively to my comment or just comment, but please don't reply to me if you're not responding to my comment.


I was responding to your comment.


Well, we have a different understanding of the phrase "respond to my comment."


To me, and i am no expert, NAFTA seemed to be designed to throw american workers under the buss for American multi national corporations while trading this for American industrial agriculture (Monsanto, etc...). I guess there's no reason for American Industrial Agriculture to move to mexico but there is a big benefit to US Multi-national corporations moving manufacturing jobs to mexico.

Whatever way you look at it, it hurt the ordinary working people of both countries. Thanks to one president Bill Clinton (i feel your pain ... yeah right). It's been ugly and that's why Fuck Face Von Clownstick was elected president and the DEMS have no idea what to do.


I think the experiment succeeded for those who were the intended beneficiaries. Hint: Not the ordinary people of the three counties involved.



The dems do have an idea- cry fake tears.


Okay then forgive the misunderstanding.


The intended beneficiaries- isn't always the same- only now it's more obvious and the dems are only crying fake tears.


I'm no NAFTA expert, but as I understand things, some industries lost out due to NAFTA, while some industries, like agriculture, gained. Here in California, an agricultural export state, NAFTA isn't the dirty word it is in other regions of the country for example. There's also an argument to be made that NAFTA has been blamed for a lot more things than it deserves to get the blame for. Here's an article that discusses how it may have actually reduced job exports that would likely have gone to China:

Don't forget, some of those job exports have simply gone to right to work states too. That's one reason why rust belt states have gone right to work recently (in addition to Republicans typically hating unions).

I'm not saying anybody's wrong here, just noting that the situation may be a bit more nuanced than we're tossing around. As the article relates, this includes the situation in Mexico too.


Thank you. I have a couple of family members ( union) who were hurt by NAFTA years ago.


NAFTA enabled ADM, Cargill and other agri-giants to sell grain at cost just long enough to put Mexican farmers out of business. This is called dumping in every industry in which it occurs. Once the farmers were out of business the agri-giants were free to raise prices resulting in Mexicans paying more for food than they previously did.

Having no jobs to go to in Mexico. the displaced farmers came to the US and many have been employed in drywall and other construction trades to the extent that (within a decade of NAFTA starting) former Mexican farmers nearly monopolized many construction trades, except in remote rural areas more than 50 miles from an interstate highway, or near the Canadian border, where they would be too conspicuous.