Argumentative driven essay
How did free trade market liberalization policies and increased economic integration between the United States and Mexico from the mid –twentieth to late twentieth century affect the political, economic and social fabric of the U.S-Mexico border?
The Mexicans and the United States have in the past had a hostile relationship that led to the fortification of a wall that was meant to separate the two nations. The border residents objected the construction of the wall. The Mexican government insisted that a wall was never a solution to their problems and that there were other means of resolving the problems. The Mexicans in the border regarded it as stupid, offensive and ineffective while the US side did not see anything positive, especially those who frequently went to Mexico. The uproar was intense. Despite the wall, the economic relationship between the resident at the border remained stable. NAFTA was approved to be tried for three years; therefore, the Mexican truckers were allowed to transport their cargo to the US other than transferring to other truckers at the border. The tourism sector in Mexico, which is one of their largest foreign earners, was hard hit. Even though the US investors in Mexico were affected, they remained adamant about the wall, and they even expanded their businesses. The California’s agricultural sector also suffered.
Free trade economic policies protect against discrimination against imports and exports to foreign countries. This means people can freely import and export without being imposed tariffs, subsidies, prohibitions, and quotas. It is the opposite of protectionist policies. These agreements are made between governments. In most occasions, people migrate in such of more business opportunities. This plays a significant role in improving the economy of the individuals and the nation as a whole. The approval of the NAFTA (NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE ACT) boosted the economic relationship between Mexico and Canada. Mexico became the leading exporter to California around 17% of the total imports in California, replacing the Japanese (McBride,n.p). The integration of the two economies was quite evident. There was a large volume of remittance that was sent back by the migrants. The effects of the economic integration were not always positive. Cases of accrued medical bills were reported, this was attributed to improper documentation of migrants, and also, there were cases of drug and human trafficking.
There was also a gravies problem between Mexico and US. They shared water from the Colorado River. There was a treaty between Mexico and US, Mexico owed US 465 billion gallons of water but as a result of increasing population in Mexico, it became so difficult to fulfill the treaty, and the situation became even worse during the periods of drought, whereby, the volume of the rivers decreased tremendously as a result of increased demand. There were also other conflicts on environmental pollution of water and air. The sources of pollution were from industries and pesticides. The Mexican environmental agency argued that pollution does not know boundaries. The conflict was further aggravated. In 2012, Mexico and the US signed an agreement of border agreement with the aim to securing their countries and also protecting themselves against pollution. The twentieth-century integration invoked different feelings among the Mexicans. At one hand, they believed that binational economic integration was going to help them alleviate their perennial poverty while on the contrary, they feared the power that the US holds, and they did not want to be assimilated into their culture that they perceived to be materialistic.
The relationship between Mexico and US has never been friendly; they have had a tense relationship since independence. In the 19th century, Mexico lost half of its territory to the US. The US is the largest Mexican trading partner while Mexico is a third best trading partner for the US. Their relationship has evolved over the years from the 19th century. Their relationship has been contributed significantly by the long boundary they share, the economic, political and social tires that they have and the troublesome history that they share. Mexico is part of the North America Free State Agreement (NAFTA). With the end of the troublesome relationship between Mexico and the US, it was marked by NAFTA that brought about debt relief, immigration, and drug trafficking efforts. This has strengthened cooperation between the two countries. President Bush and Carlos of Mexico also championed for a pragmatic approach to bilateral issues. NAFTA was intended to bring about economic integration, that is, free trade. After, President Bush of the US, the institutionalization continued with Bill Clinton and Ernesto Zedillo (1992-2000) (Villarreal et Ferguson, 2). NAFTA lead to the rise of ZAPATISTA MOVEMENT IN Chiapas, a revolt led by Subcommander Marcos, he pointed out the adverse impact of economic integration for the plight of the indigenous Mexicans who were dispersed in their own country, despite the problems that both sides faced. The first six years since NAFTA was signed, brought great economic growth in Mexico, it was US’s second largest trading partner gaining approximately 210 billion dollars in 2002. NAFTA led to the creation of more plants of maquiladora in the north Mexico border but it had a negative implication since it widened the gap between the economy of the north and south. The southern Mexico had less wealth than the north making them poorer. While the benefits from the free trade were more to the Mexicans than the United States, the president did not cease to champion for Mexico and also the Latin Americans.
The NAFTA received criticism, and it was blamed to have an adverse impact on the social fabric, it led to increased cases of drug-funded official corruption in 1990’s in Mexico. The human rights were believed to be abused as a result of the increase in the economic inequalities between the different parts of Mexico; the North and South. The military suppressed the impoverished people in Mexico. The issue of integration brought division in both countries; some people were opposed to the idea of integration. The major contribution of the free trade were increased cooperation I the areas of immigration, combating drug trafficking and improving security between the two borders but, there were other sensitive issues that brought about memory of the past relationship between the two countries, this was quite a challenge to overcome and be able to suppress suspicion between the two countries. The collaboration between the two nations was a necessity to build strong ties. Although the gains of free trade vary between countries, both countries gained from the free trade, the welfare of the countries were improved. They increased their economies of scale that is the prices of the goods were lower as the market was increased. There was increased market competition especially for the domestic monopolies boosting productivity, and competition is an indication of healthy markets. Bilateral trades enhance innovation and US and Mexico had a chance to exchange their innovation and improve their efficiency. There was the infusion of new technologies between the two countries. As earlier indicated, the living standards of Mexicans was developed, especially in the north parts, therefore, improving the social welfare of the people. Politically, the cold relationship between Mexico and the US was improved, looking at what they went through during the war, a good relationship was created. Countries which are involved in free trade, create their own market dynamic ,they are able to create more opportune for its citizens, which will, in turn, improve their living standards, even the most impoverished. This is evident with the United States and Mexico relationship. The freed trade had also had a significant impact on the social fabric between the two nations. There had been an infusion of culture. They have exchanged their cultural practices. This has created diversity. The integration also promoted political tolerance between the two countries. From the history, the two nations had a troublesome relationship, but with free trade, they are able to accommodate each other. A prosperous Mexico leads to the prosperous United States. In one way or the other, free trade positively influences the Society, politics and the economy of the two countries and this should always be upheld. More bilateral trading should be championed for by the leaders. When the leaders collaborated especially the presidents, they were able to combat insecurity between the two countries. The citizens felt secure then more than before the world wars. There was also more tolerance among its people.
McBride, James. NAFTA’s Economic Impact. CFR. 2017. Web. 23rd April, 2017.
Villarreal, A., M. & Fergusson, I., F., The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Congressional Research Service. 2017.