NAFTA FOOD FOR THOUGHT
According to the Bush administration, the agreement has been "improving lives and reducing poverty in Mexico."
contributed to a 24% rise in Mexico's per capita income. "NAFTA gave us a big push," Vicente Fox, President of Mexico, tells Business Week. "It gave us jobs. It gave us knowledge, experience, technological transfer."
The accord has stimulated democratic reform and opened markets in Mexico
The agreement has taken a toll on both U.S. and Mexican jobs, according to the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). While real wages for Mexican manufacturing workers declined 13.5%, more than half a million U.S. employees have entered government retraining programs after their companies moved production south of the border, says IPS.
The new study also found that NAFTA has been ineffective in stemming the tide of illegal Mexican immigrants entering the U.S. to find jobs. In fact, according to most estimates, the number of Mexicans working illegally in the U.S. surged to 4.8 million in 2000, more than twice the 1990 total.
The loss of many manufacturing employment can be attributed to U.S. manufacturers transplanting jobs to overseas locations.