News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez: NAFTA a success, should be strengthened

By Jessica Bernstein-Wax
1:50 p.m.
February 27, 2008

MEXICO CITY – U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said Wednesday that NAFTA has been a boon for the United States, Mexico and Canada, but the three signatory countries should help small Mexican farmers who have suffered from the pact.

When the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect in 1994, it contained a provision letting Mexico levy protective farm tariffs temporarily while upgrading its agricultural industry. That phase-in period ended Jan. 1, and Mexican farms – mostly tiny plots of 12 acres (5 hectares) or less – still lag behind.

Gutierrez, in Mexico City for a conference on strengthening Mexico's transportation, energy and environmental infrastructure, said NAFTA has brought economic gains to all three nations – such as helping lower U.S. unemployment from 6.9 percent in 1993 to 4.9 percent last year. More than 30 percent of U.S. foreign trade is through the trade pact, he said.

“If NAFTA weren't a success, the numbers wouldn't be like that,” Gutierrez said.

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