Monday, December 14, 2009

The Wall

The journey of survival of Mexicans and other people from Latin American countries is part of the global migration of the world’s poor. According to the United Nation’s report, about world wealth and inequality, it is estimated that some 1.3 billion people in the world today live on less than $1.00 dollar per day; and 2.8 billion people, almost half of the world population, live on less than $2.00 dollars per day. Every day, more people are willing to risk their lives to escape poverty, often escaping death, war, or starvation by illegal migration to richer countries (Kerbo, 2007).
In 1994 the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed by the governments of the United States, Canada and Mexico, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The NAFTA main goal was to eliminate barriers of trade and investment between the three countries. Its implementation brought the elimination of tariffs on more than one half of US imports from Mexico and more than one third of US exports to Mexico. This implementation has been extended to 15 years in relation to US agricultural exports to Mexico.
The NAFTA effects has awaken disagreements among economists, who some believe these effects had been positive to Mexican economy but others argue that this international agreement has been only beneficial business owners and elites of all three countries; the negative impact targeted farmers who saw food prices fall based on cheap imports from US agribusiness. Some critics believe that NAFTA has contributed to the rising inequality levels in both countries US and Mexico.
In the video, The Wall, Dr, Sterling Evans, Louse Welsh Chair Oklahoma, Southern Plains and Borderlands History, explains about the negative effects of NAFTA to the Mexican economy and the increasing immigration of farmers to the US on daily basis. His research and teaching interests is in the history of the trans-national Great Plains, US-Mexican and Canadian borderlands, agricultural and environmental history. His current project research: Damming Sonora Water, Agriculture and Environmental Change Northwest Mexico.