U.S. has used NAFTA to pound Mex­ico

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - OPINION -

Pres­i­dent Trump is bel­low­ing about how NAFTA is bad for Amer­i­can work­ers. Putting aside the hun­dreds of thou­sands of jobs lost in the U.S. and Canada, let’s con­sider the plight of the Mex­i­can peo­ple in this per­fect storm. NAFTA came into force in 1994 and al­lowed duty and tar­iff free prod­ucts from the U.S. to flow into the free trade zones in Mex­ico. The U.S. gov­ern­ment, to the tune of $10 bil­lion a year, sub­si­dized the corn in­dus­try and giant cor­po­ra­tions dumped their corn on the Mex­i­cans, thereby caus­ing a col­lapse of the corn in­dus­try in Mex­ico. The Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment co-op­er­ated by re­mov­ing sup­port for tor­tilla pro­duc­tion and the price of tor­tillas in­creased sev­en­fold. The U.S. also flooded Mex­ico with sug­ary, pro­cessed foods. 1.3 mil­lion farm­ers were driven off the land and the rate of obe­sity and di­a­betes soared. Guess what else? Peo­ple em­i­grated to the U.S. in even greater num­bers be­cause they were no longer able to make a liv­ing. So, Mr. Trump, let’s not beat up on the Mex­i­cans any more than you al­ready have.

Deb Hop­kins, Saska­toon

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