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Wednesday, December 04, 2002


NAFTA-required tariff reductions in January will put many thousands of Mexican farmers out of business. They will be forced to compete with US agribusinesses producing cheap food supported by direct Federal subsidies and indirect subsidies from artificially cheap water and oil. Of course, once Mexican farmers are out of business, the US firms will be able to raise the prices while still enjoying the subsidies. Many more Mexicans will be competing for the low-wage jobs in the maquiladoras along the US border, lowering costs for US-based industry even further. The whole process is brutal and ultimately unsustainable, but as long as profits for the next few quarters look good, neither the corporations nor their lackeys in the Senate and the Bush administration seem to care.