The ITT List
Wednesday Feb 27, 2008 4:13 pm
Kate Sheppard is on a roll
Read her take here on NAFTA, which challenges her colleagues' strange dismissal that it's an effective, or at least neutral, policy.
I think both Clinton and Obama are right in plugging for a reevaluation of the labor and environmental standards of the deal and its counterparts, though they may well be doing so in Ohio now largely because it's politically expedient in a place where the deals have few supporters. Even if the deal has had little impact in the United States outside of concerns about the corporate welfare it provides, as Ezra argues, there is a serious need to reevaluate it based on what it's failed to deliver for our trade partners, and for the decline of labor and environmental standards that it facilitates.Aside from the crucial labor and environmental concerns, it's also important to mention the effects NAFTA has had on immigration patterns. Here's some numbers from 2004, which have only worsened since.
Philip L. Martin, a leading farm-labor demographer, estimates that just seven percent of 900,000 migrant farm workers employed in the U.S. pre-NAFTA were undocumented. Ten years later, half of the two million U.S. farmworkers are undocumented.