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The North American Free Trade Agreement

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It is stated in the preamble of The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that "The Government of Canada, the Government of the United Mexican States and the Government of the United States of America resolved to ENHANCE the competitiveness of their firms in global markets, FOSTER creativity and innovation, and promote trade in goods and services that are the subject of intellectual property rights, CREATE new employment opportunities and improve working conditions and living standards in their respective territories, and UNDERTAKE each of the preceding in a manner consistent with environmental protection and conservation." (Canada Government, par.1)The purpose of NAFTA was not simply to assist with trade and open markets but to expanded opportunities for economic investment. The treaty did not pay attention to worker mobility, which made labour central to the boarder process of market integration harder to deal with. Once Mexico became a member of NAFTA in 1994, their society was affected including economic, environmental and social factors. NAFTA's destructive effects are seen to cause problems in many aspects of Mexico's society. Their thought to enhance their economy and global markets have done the opposite causing debt, has also ruined their environment, and on top of that has ignored the violation of human rights caused by their maquiladora industrialised strip along the US-Mexico border. The poverty that is usually seen in developing countries is no being helped but instead continuing causing dreadful conditions in Mexico. As the NAFTA agreement continued to develop their policies became the cause of negative effects that can be directly linked to those that are seen in Mexico.

Over the years advances in transportation, communication, and information technologies are all results of the interconnectedness that affects us due to globalization. "Mexico became a member of NAFTA in 1994, and during that time companies such as Honda and Mercedes started to build new plants and renovating and upgrading pre-existing ones in Mexico."(Massey, par.6) Their goal was to obtain the advantages of the free trade that the NAFTA agreement promised. "The rush of consumption approximately south of the U.S. border has also sparked the interest of both U.S. and international retailers."(Massey, par.7) After an extensive study of Mexican consumers in the trade market, J.C. Penney announced plans to open 20 stores in Mexico near the border. (Massey, par. 7-8) The development of the main trading area located on the border of Mexico was thought to have positive effects on the Mexican economy but clearly show that none have helped to produce significant economic growth. (Coote, pg.44) Not only is this development causing trade disagreements but allowing developing countries, such as Mexico, to take part in an active role in NAFTA only shows more debt arising.

One main concern that has been the result of NAFTA deals with the environment. "While many believe NAFTA was beneficial to us, there are concerns spreading throughout the world that having this change is having negative effects in terms of unemployment, income disparities, the exploitation of workers and environmental degradation."(Skonieczny, par.3) The environment is a critical issue that NAFTA is not paying attention to its extreme direct consequences. Some of the worst examples of environmental degradation are seen along the US-Mexico border. "Industry annually generates 115 million tonnes of solid wastes and an undetermined amount of untreated toxic waste, both of which pose a grave threat to public health." (Coote, pg.31) Even though Mexico has substantial environmental laws, their enforcement of these laws is weak. "By law Mexican companies are supposed to ship their toxic waste back across the border to the USA, but the 80% of pollutes rivers, and contaminated water supplies, are powerful evidence that many are not doing so. (Coote, pg.31) As well, due to the debt that is known to increase in developing countries, there is no possible way for Mexico to have enough money to even finance for the sole duty to deal with the pollution and environmental problems properly. To help the degradation of the environment, Mexico environmental laws need to be reinforced to its fullest ability. "Funds need to be set aside to rehabilitate areas adversely affected by commercial activities, as well international trade agreements should contain clauses that allow any party to take action necessary to protect the environment." (Coote, pg.45) As seen, NAFTA has had a huge affect on the Mexico environment, and only causing negative effects; compared to what they thought would be positive ones. Their environment is not the only concern as the human rights and social factors are being affected as well.

Mexico is known for its government instituted Border Industrialisation Programme.

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