President Obama, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper are scheduled to gather Wednesday in Toluca, Mexico, for the North American Leaders’ Summit.
LAURA CARLSEN, carlsenster at gmail.com, @cipamericas
Carlsen is director of the Mexico-based Americas program of the Center for International Policy. She is covering the summit in Toluca and just wrote the piece “Background on What to Expect at the North American Summit,” which states: “The TPP will be highlighted while NAFTA will get short shrift. In spite of all the efforts to parade increased trade figures as signs of progress, it is just not possible to put a positive spin on the overall results of the [NAFTA] agreement after 20 years. Instead, The Transpacific Partnership will take center stage as if it weren’t a NAFTA-plus and instead a major new growth initiative. …
“Mexico could be poised on the brink of a major increase in violence and environmental destruction. Under the NAFTA-Narco model of resource exploitation, organized crime has become deeply involved in mining, as seen in northern Mexico and Michoacan, and in cross-border oil and gas sales, as evidenced in the lawsuits against major transnational oil companies in the U.S. for purchasing stolen gas from cartels. Privatization of oil and expansion of mining, a major concern of the Canadian government that will be on the private agenda, will consolidate this model.”
MANUEL PÉREZ-ROCHA, manuel at ips-dc.org
Associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Pérez-Rocha wrote the articles “NAFTA Pushes Many Mexicans to Migrate” and “NAFTA’s 20 Years of Unfulfilled Promises: The trade deal has become an engine of poverty in Mexico.”
DAVID BACON, dbacon at igc.org
Bacon‘s books include The Right to Stay Home: How U.S. Policy Drives Mexican Migration. He recently wrote the piece “The Workers’ Scorecard on NAFTA,” which states: “The head of the mineros, Napoleon Gomez Urrutia, was forced to flee to Canada when the government threatened to arrest him after he’d condemned an explosion in a mine belonging to one of Mexico’s wealthiest families as ‘industrial homicide.’ Meanwhile, a new mining law led to the sale of mining concessions, primarily to huge Canadian companies, covering more than one-third of Mexico’s entire territory.
“The 44,000 members of the Mexican Electrical Workers were fired, and the state-owned electric power company they worked for was dissolved. Now the new administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto has forced through ‘energy reform’ that sets up the national oil and electrical industries for sale to private investors.
“As NAFTA opened the doors for a flood of private investment into Mexico, market reforms privatized other industries as well. One family became owner of its most important railroads, another of its national steel mill. Carlos Slim bought the telephone company at a bargain price and is reputedly the world’s richest man, becoming the second-largest shareholder in the New York Times. Elizabeth Malkin,the Times‘ Mexico correspondent, gushed that he’d ‘turned a crumbling Mexican phone monopoly into a continental telecom giant.'”