Thursday, July 19, 2018

How Will AMLO Deal With NAFTA?

Brian Palmer-Rubin has a post at The Monkey Cage blog about clues to AMLO's response to NAFTA. He argues that Mexico's long-standing clientelist structures meant that labor and peasant unions never really pursued substantive change. That's what AMLO might change.

If López Obrador plans to follow through on this promise, we should see representatives of organized labor, small business and peasant associations at the NAFTA bargaining table. Provisions for foreign investment would be geared to not only factories that employ low-paying manual labor — jobs that are increasingly under threat by automation — but also technology and service-sector firms that promise to train and employ high-skilled workers. And negotiators would pursue agricultural terms that favor Mexican exports of high-value crops such as avocados, coffee and tomatoes. These trade provisions would be accompanied by domestic policies that enable small businesses and small-scale farmers to obtain the financing they need to reach more lucrative markets.
That's a tall order, but would be fascinating to watch if it happened. It would drastically shift the tenor of the discussions.

Most accounts offer a more standard outlook, i.e. AMLO has consciously tried to calm down business and there will be a lot of continuity. That is rather different than having peasant associations at the bargaining table.


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