Food products—staples such as corn and beans—are flooding into Mexico. Since the 1995 implementation of NAFTA, US corn exports to Mexico have quadrupled. These products are flowing south at prices below Mexican farmers’ cost of production, and below the cost of production in the US. Subsidies enable farmers to produce below cost. NAFTA dictates that Mexico must allow this food in. The NAFTA timetable required that on January 1, 2008, Mexico remove its final restrictions on the imports of staple food products—opening its border completely to imports of corn and beans.
Mexican farmers have been devastated by low prices for corn and other crops. Farm families have been forced off their land, and forced to relocate to large cities and border-town maquilidoras. NAFTA’s body-blow to Mexico’s farm sector has meant a rapid rise in the number of Mexicans who are landless, unemployed, poor, and desperate.