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Mexican lawmakers fear social destabilization

Mexican Lawmakers Fear Social Destabilization

Mexico, Dec 24 2007 (Prensa Latina) — The president of the Agriculture Committee at the House of Deputies, Hector Padilla, said on Sunday that the agricultural chapter of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will cause social destabilization in Mexico.

Padilla referred in those terms to the crisis that will hit Mexican agricultural sector after the lifting of tariffs on food imported from the United States and Canada, as of January 1, 2008, in compliance with the NAFTA.

The impact will be huge and disastrous for the national economy, because the policy of disarticulation of the countryside has destroyed the institutional instruments that made the agricultural sector strong, he added.

The lawmaker explained that the worsening of the crisis in that economic sector also translates into decreased production and shortages, which will irremediably affect the rest of society.

Padilla noted that after the lifting of tariffs on corn, beans, milk and sugar imports, those products would dump the market, thus creating a price crisis and increasing Mexicans’ exodus to the United States.

These are highly-sensitive food items that involve 90 percent of Mexican rural producers, he pointed out.

For his part, Deputy Victor Quintana, of the opposition Democratic Revolution Party, criticized the NAFTA and its negative impact on Mexico’s rural economy.

Quintana said a demonstration would be held on Cordoba’s international bridge, which connects Mexico and the United State, to protest against the NAFTA’s damage to Mexican producers.

 source: Prensa Latina