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  1. #1
    Senior Member patbrunz's Avatar
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    Mexico hopeful takes hard line vs. NAFTA

    Mexico hopeful takes hard line vs. NAFTA By MARK STEVENSON, Associated Press Writer
    Sat Jun 17, 9:20 PM ET



    TUXTLA GUTIERREZ, Mexico - Leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said for the first time Saturday he would not honor Mexico's commitment under NAFTA to eliminate tariffs on U.S. corn and beans if he is elected.


    Tariffs on all agricultural products must be removed in 2008 under the North American Free Trade Agreement. But Lopez Obrador said he opposed eliminating tariffs on U.S. white corn and beans, showing no allegiance to a deal he sees as harmful to Mexican farmers.

    "We are not going to accept this clause that they signed," Lopez Obrador told supporters in Chiapas, an extremely poor farming state.

    With two weeks to go before the July 2 election, the fiery ex-Mexico City mayor is running about even with his main opponent, Felipe Calderon of the conservative governing National Action Party, or PAN.

    Mexican farmers say hefty agricultural subsidies in the United States give American white corn and beans an unfair advantage over the Mexican market, which depends in large part on small-scale and mostly subsistence farmers. As Mexico's staple crops, corn and beans also carry immense symbolic importance.

    Mexicans worry that if these farmers can't sell the nation's signature crops at a price that competes with trucked-in produce from the United States, they will go out of business altogether.

    That could severely damage Mexico's agricultural economy, which farmers say has already suffered since the trade deal went into effect in 1994, forcing many to migrate to the United States.

    Mexico's agriculture minister pleaded with Canada and the United States this month to reconsider the removal of the corn and bean tariffs, but U.S. Undersecretary for Agriculture J.B. Penn flatly rejected the appeal, saying "we have no interest in renegotiating any parts of the agreement."

    Despite the concern, the administration of outgoing President Vicente Fox has stood by NAFTA, saying Mexico honors its trade commitments.

    Lopez Obrador said he is confident many Mexicans will vote against his rival Calderon because they are angry with Fox for not fulfilling his campaign promises, which included creating millions of jobs.

    Lopez Obrador has promised to raise the income of poor families by as much as 20 percent by providing them with subsidized power and basic goods. He also has promised to extend the free pensions for the elderly he established in Mexico City to the rest of the country.

    Lopez Obrador, who lives modestly in a small Mexico City apartment, has said the handouts estimated to cost about $7 billion would be funded by cutting the salaries of Mexico's army of government workers, particularly of the top earners. He has also promised to draw half the salary of Fox, who received $238,000 last year.

    Calderon and other critics say Lopez Obrador's promised social programs would push Mexico into an economic crisis, and in a series of attack ads, compared him to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, an authoritarian socialist. But Lopez Obrador says the comparison is ridiculous.

    His Democratic Revolution Party has never held the top office, but many claim victory was stolen from the party in 1988 through fraud perpetrated by the then-governing Institutional Revolutionary Party.
    All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke

  2. #2
    MW
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    Mexican farmers say hefty agricultural subsidies in the United States give American white corn and beans an unfair advantage over the Mexican market, which depends in large part on small-scale and mostly subsistence farmers. As Mexico's staple crops, corn and beans also carry immense symbolic importance.

    Mexicans worry that if these farmers can't sell the nation's signature crops at a price that competes with trucked-in produce from the United States, they will go out of business altogether.
    You know I've never really thought about this, but we're importing Mexican jobs. Think about it, I think most can agree that NAFTA is the reason most farms are failing in Mexico. While those Mexican farms are folding, American produce growers are replacing their spot in the global market. Folks, I would submit to you that our fruit and produce growers are a serious contributor to our illegal immigration problem. The folding of Mexican farms is increasing the need for American produce, hence it's only natural that these American produce growers would need more workers to keep up with produce demand. I would suggest there is no better source of workers than those that were unemployed because of NAFTA. So basically our farmers are importing Mexican workers at near Mexican wages (as close as we'll allow) to replace the NAFTA caused farm gap in Mexico. Make sense? What I'm saying is, our U.S. growers are prospering at our expense. Repeal NAFTA and the need for all the illegal migrant farmer workers would evaporate. Does that sound logical? Furthermore, the price of American produce will not go up significantly because demand will go down.

    My conjecture is based on supply and demand combined with cause an effect.

    Just another point to prove that the only people truely prospering under NAFTA are the American produce growers (increased profits), American government (using U.S. tax payer dollars to subsidize illegals needs while in U.S. and profiting from increased taxes and fees from U.S. farmers), Mexican government (Mexican illegals sending money back to Mexico), and the illegal immigrants themselves.

    Where does your average American citizen tax payer (middle class) fit into the equation? We suffer more road congestion, increased crime, school overcrowding (damaging our childrens education), increased medical insurance premiums, less governmental resources for citizens, inconvience, etc.

    Wish I could vote in Mexico! I'd support anyone that doesn't support NAFTA!

    What ever happen to made by America, in America, for America? Is there no end to corporate America greed?

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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  3. #3
    Senior Member patbrunz's Avatar
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    Excellent analysis, MW! That's kinda what I was thinking too when I read it, but you expressed it more clearly than I had it in my head. I think you have it exactly right. Isn't it a sick, twisted plot they have going?
    All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke

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    MEXICAN FARMS....also, our huge Ag monopolies have literally forced the Mex Farmers to give up their land and leave. These monopolies have taken over in Mexico thereby displacing another large group of indiginous people.

    The whole thing is a gigantic mess! People from both countries are suffering with Americans carrying 99% of the collective burden.
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