Cameron McKibben

NAFTA: Great for the Illicit Drug Trade

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been critiqued as merely serving U.S. and Canadian interests, while making the rich richer and only providing marginal, geographically isolated benefits to the poor in Mexico. Although NAFTA promised to decrease migration to the north, increase foreign direct investment, and provoke universal economic prosperity in Mexico, such outcomes have not materialized. The agreement, however, has undoubtedly facilitated U.S.-Mexican trade. As former Mexican Foreign Minister (2000-2003) Jorge G. Castañeda argues, “NAFTA brought neither the huge gains its proponents promised nor the dramatic losses its adversaries warned of.”[i]Still, NAFTA has contributed significantly to one market in particular: the illicit drug trade.

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