NAFTA exploits Mexico

by Alec Storms- University student

The North American Free Trade Agreement was created in 1994 and was pushed heavily by the Mexican government. In idea, free trade makes everyone better off, but what NAFTA created was a strong disadvantage for the U.S. to sell even more products and exploit cheap labor.

A great example of this is the corn market in the U.S. The Mexican corn farmers were eager to receive the new business in the U.S. Due to cheap wages, it was expected to be competitive. However, the agreement did not limit U.S. subsidies to U.S.-based producers. Therefore, the U.S. dumped corn at up to 30 percent below the cost for Mexican producers. The price for corn in Mexico then fell by 70 percent. It forced more than 28,000 Mexican farmers out of business.

To make matters even worse, financing opportunities through the U.S. have actually worked to help corn buyers in Mexico. The U.S. Commodity Credit Corporation sells corn on financing plans with favorable terms. As a result, corn buyers can buy more due to a lower price and attractive financing options.

These two reasons are directly related to the influx of immigration to the U.S. We promised jobs to their country, but we got the better end. We forced those who lost their jobs to move to the U.S. in hope of the American dream.

As an economist, the idea of free trade is truly beneficial for all. But when the U.S. preys on Mexico to expand its own market, only one side will benefit.

Our unfair practices have been detrimental to Mexico and have created a one-sided benefit. We need to allow Mexico to thrive economically so its citizens are not forced to emigrate from their country for financial reasons.