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Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch;
This fact sheet is part of Public Citizen's "NAFTA at Ten Series" and documents the results of the failed NAFTA model. Before NAFTA, trade agreements dealt with traditional matters such as cutting tariffs and lifting quotas that had set the terms of trade in goods between countries. NAFTA shattered the boundaries of trade agreements; its central focus and most powerful rules concerned investment, and it contained 900 pages of one-size-fits-all "non-trade" rules with significant implications for food safety, drug patents and access to medicines, not to mention jobs, wages and economic security. It also constrained the ability of local government to zone against sprawl or toxic industries. NAFTA was a radical experiment -- never before had a merger of three nations with such different levels of development been attempted. When NAFTA was being debated, proponents and opponents alike predicted its consequences. Now the data are in. What are NAFTA's lessons in Canada, the United States and Mexico? The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) are both proposals to expand NAFTA, but NAFTA's record is playing a significant role in both the hesitance of some FTAA target countries to adopt the NAFTA model and the concerns of U.S. lawmakers to approve CAFTA.
Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch;
A Special Report By Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch and Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program. A review of U.S. government "system" audits of five nations (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Australia and Canada) reveals that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) deemed "equivalent" systems with sanitary measures that differ from FSIS policy, and in some cases, violate the express language of U.S. laws and regulations. Because FSIS has refused to respond to Public Citizen Freedom of Information Act requests for correspondence and other documentation regarding these equivalency decisions, it is impossible to determine what is the current status of these issues and whether they have been resolved by regulators. - The U.S. law requiring meat to be inspected by independent government officials was violated by Brazil and Mexico and they retained their eligibility to export to the United States. - The USDA's zero tolerance policy for contamination by feces was repeatedly violated by Australia, Canada and Mexico. - U.S. regulations requiring monthly supervisory reviews of plants eligible to export be conducted on behalf of USDA by foreign government officials were violated by Argentina, Brazil, Canada and Mexico, several of whom are seeking to avoid this core requirement of U.S. regulation. Monthly reviews are vitally important to remind the meat industry that the meat inspector who works the line in the plant is backed by the weight of the government and to double-check the work of meat inspectors on a regular basis. - Even though U.S. regulations requiring that a government official -- not a company employee -- sample meat for salmonella microbial contamination, the USDA approved company employees performing this task as part of an equivalency determination with Brazil and Canada. - Even though U.S. regulations require certain microbial testing to be performed at government labs, the U.S. approved testing by private labs as part of the equivalency determination with Brazil, Canada and Mexico. - Unapproved and/or improper testing procedures and sanitation violations have been re-identified by FSIS year after year for Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico, but the countries have retained their eligibility to export to the United States. - After its regulatory systems was designated "equivalent," Mexico began using alternative procedures for salmonella and E. coli that had never been evaluated by FSIS, yet the country retained its eligibility to import to the United States. - Australia and Canada were allowed to export to the United States while using their own methods and procedures for such matters as E. coli testing, postmortem inspection, monthly supervisory reviews and pre-shipment reviews while awaiting an equivalency determination from FSIS. - FSIS auditors and Canadian food safety officials continue to disagree about whether particular measures have already been found "equivalent" by FSIS, yet Canadian imports remained uninterrupted. - The regulatory systems of Brazil and Mexico have been rated equivalent even though the countries plead insufficient personnel and monetary resources to explain their inability to carry out all required functions.
Immigration Policy Center;
A proper understanding of the causes of international migration suggests that punitive immigration and border policies tend to backfire, and this is precisely what has happened in the case of the United States and Mexico. Rather than raising the odds that undocumented immigrants will be apprehended, U.S. border-enforcement policies have reduced the apprehension rate to historical lows and in the process helped transform Mexican immigration from a regional to a national phenomenon. The solution to the problems associated with undocumented migration is not open borders, but frontiers that are reasonably regulated on a binational basis.
Pew Research Center;
Presents survey results from the Global Attitudes Project on Mexicans' views on immigration, the United States, Barack Obama, Mexico's war against drug traffickers, the economy, leaders and institutions, trade and globalization, and their personal lives.
Migration Policy Institute;
Migration has profoundly affected - and continues to shape - the social and economic trajectories of the United States, Mexico, and Central America, as well as teh ways in which these countries relate and interact with each other.
At this writing, US legislators are debating how to reform an antiquated and inflexible immigration system that does not address 1) the mismatch between labor demand and visa supplyu, 2) the fate of the estimated 11 million unauthorized residents, or 3) the extended separation of US Citizens and residents and their families abroad. The immigration system has also lost control of its integrity by failing to maintain the rule of law in many migration matters.
The resulting reforms must tackle these deficiencies head on. They must introduce into the system the flexibility necessary to adjust visa numbers according to the ebbs and flows of the economy; give it the authority and resources to ensure that foreign workers and their family members are treated properly, give it the means to be fair to US workers; and make immigration enforcement stronger and smarter, both at the borders and inside the country. Only then can the United States have an immigration system that embraces and ensures legality, fairness, orderliness, responsiveness to labor market needs, and predictability for all who engage the system; and earns the trust of the public.
The goal of the Regional Migration Study Group, convened by the Migration Policy Institute and the Latin American Program/ Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2010 has been to analyze and shed light ont he changes the migration system is undergoing and propose a pragmatic, cooperative way forward.
Center for Economic and Policy Research;
Recent estimates of the U.S. economic gains that would result from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are very small -- only 0.13 percent of GDP by 2025. Taking into account the un-equalizing effect of trade on wages, this paper finds the median wage earner will probably lose as a result of any such agreement. In fact, most workers are likely to lose -- the exceptions being some of the bottom quarter or so whose earnings are determined by the minimum wage; and those with the highest wages who are more protected from international competition. Rather, many top incomes will rise as a result of TPP expansion of the terms and enforcement of copyrights and patents. The long-term losses, going forward over the same period (to 2025), from the failure to restore full employment to the United States have been some 25 times greater than the potential gains of the TPP, and more than five times as large as the possible gains resulting from a much broader trade agenda.
Pew Hispanic Center;
Presents estimates of the undocumented migrant population in the U.S., broken down into the categories that were most relevant to the migration proposals under consideration by the U.S. and Mexican governments, prior to the March 2002 migration talks.
This research brief provides a glimpse at funding by U.S. foundations for Latin America between 2010 and 2012, with a special focus on Central America. The following analysis includes grants awarded directly to organizations in Latin America for work in the region or other parts of the world, as well as support to organizations in the U.S. and abroad with international programs targeting Latin America.
Rockefeller Archive Center;
This project focuses on the development of scientific agriculture in Mexico during the 1930s to the 1960s; specifically, research done on corn by Mexican and U.S. scientists. The Rockefeller Archive Center's collections give a rich and detailed picture of the long process from the initiation of the Office of Special Studies in 1941-1943 by the Rockefeller Foundation (RF), through the development of a thriving research program in the Mexican national context during the 1940s and 1950s, to the cessation of direct involvement in Mexican research and an international focus in Rockefeller Foundationsponsored agricultural research. While it may seem odd to distinguish among the different crop plants, differences in the histories of research on the various staple grains in the twentieth century are striking. Any sort of "green revolution" with corn was very different than that with wheat, particularly in Mexico, a center of great diversity and long history of the corn plant.
Population Action International;
Reproductive Health Supplies in Six Countries: Themes and Entry Points in Policies, Systems and Funding, identifies the challenges faced by reproductive health programs in Bangladesh, Ghana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Uganda. Funding constraints, combined with a weak commitment to prioritize the purchase of reproductive health supplies on the side of the recipient countries and a limited capacity for distribution, have created an unstable environment for supplies worldwide. The report, and its six associated case studies, calls for renewed attention to reproductive health supplies to avoid putting the health of millions of women at risk.
While U.S. leaders have focused on actual or illusory security threats in distant regions, there is a troubling security problem brewing much closer to home. Violence in Mexico, mostly related to the trade in illegal drugs, has risen sharply in recent years and shows signs of becoming even worse. That violence involves turf fights among the various drug-trafficking organizations as they seek to control access to the lucrative U.S. market. To an increasing extent, the violence also entails fighting between drug traffickers and Mexican military and police forces. The carnage has already reached the point that the U.S. State Department has issued travel alerts for Americans traveling in Mexico. U.S. tourism to cities on Mexico's border with the United States, where the bloodshed has been the worst, has dropped sharply. Even more troubling, the violence is spilling across the border into communities in the southwestern United States. U.S. officials, alarmed at the growing power of the Mexican drug cartels, have pressured the government of Felipe Calderon to wage amore vigorous anti-drug campaign. Calderon has responded by giving the army the lead role in efforts to eliminate the drug traffickers instead of relying on federal and local police forces, which have been thoroughly corrupted by drug money. Washington has rewarded Calderon's government by implementing the initial stage of the so-called Merida Initiative. In June 2008, Congress approved a $400 million installment modeled on Plan Colombia, the anti-drug assistance measure for Colombia and other drug-source countries in the Andean region. That program, now in its ninth year, has already cost more than $5 billion, without significantly reducing the flow of drugs coming out of South America. The Merida Initiative will likely cost billions and be equally ineffectual. Abandoning the prohibitionist model of dealing with the drug problem is the only effective way to stem the violence in Mexico and its spillover into the United States. Other proposed solutions, including preventing the flow of guns from the U.S. to Mexico, establishing tighter control over the border, and (somehow) winning the war on drugs are futile. As long as the prohibitionist strategy is in place, the huge black market premium in illegal drugs will continue, and the lure of that profit, together with the illegality, guarantees that the most ruthless, violence-prone elements will dominate the trade. Ending drug prohibition would de-fund the criminal trafficking organizations and reduce their power.
Summarizes January 2000 discussions on building capacity in the field of youth service. Explores connections with social capital, economic productivity, adolescent development, marginalized youth, civic engagement, and policy. Includes country summaries.