Despite the fact that the U.S. agreed under NAFTA to open its borders to Mexican goods, the Mexican government is failing to reciprocate properly. A panel of Ohio lawmakers is lobbying the U.S. to take action against Mexico for preventing the shipment of drainage products manufactured by Ohio company Advanced Drainage Systems. NAFTA is damaging enough when implemented properly, let alone when the enforcement is lopsided.
The bipartisan group is made up of Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Oh) and Senator Rob Portman (R-Oh), along with Representatives Steve Stivers (R-Oh) and Pat Tiberi (R-Oh). The group sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk detailing how Advanced Drainage Systems’ access to the Mexican market has been limited. The group claims that this action is hurting the 700-employee company, despite the fact that we maintain our open access for Mexican goods.
Advanced Drainage Systems had been able to do business in Mexico in the past and is the world’s largest producer of high-density polyethylene pipe, but the Mexican government imposed a new technical standard without warning that effectively banned the company from selling its products in the country. Under NAFTA, technical standards cannot be used to impede trade. The letter sent by the lawmakers asks Kirk to engage the Mexican government to restore access for Advanced Drainage Systems.
NAFTA has been incredibly damaging to the U.S., both in terms of jobs and our trade deficit. According to the Economic Policy Institute, NAFTA has displaced nearly 700,000 jobs since its enactment in 1994. These have largely been middle class manufacturing jobs that are now done for much lower wages in Mexico. The U.S. once held a trade surplus with Mexico, but since NAFTA was put into effect that surplus has turned into a massive deficit. This shows that free trade with Mexico is not a sustainable practice for the United States.
As damaging as NAFTA is, it is even more damaging when Mexico does not comply with the rules. While we open our borders to their products, they are restricting the access of ours, making our trade imbalance even greater. This is further evidence that we need to get out of NAFTA as soon as possible.
Source: http://economyincrisis.org/No tags for this post.