IN THE NEWS ~ Mexican, US and Canadian legislators to critique NAFTA in tri-national meeting

Mexican, US and Canadian legislators to critique NAFTA in tri-national meeting

WASHINGTON OFFICE ON LATIN AMERICA ~ Trade Observatory is a project of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, a Minneapolis-based nongovernmental organization.

As the Democratic presidential candidates debate the merits of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), elected officials from Canada and Mexico will meet with non-governmental organizations in Washington DC on March 5 and 6, 2008 to launch a tri-national evaluation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and develop a US trade agenda that works for people at home and abroad. The elected officials are: Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) Mexican Deputies José Jacques y Medina and Victor Quintana, Mexican Senator Yeidckol Polevnsky, and Canadian member of Parliament Peter Julian.

The conference will focus on the gap between the promise of NAFTA and its reality. Supporters of NAFTA said the trade agreement would bring an economic convergence that would create employment and prosperity to the citizens of all three countries. While economic integration of the three economies, especially in border areas, has been successful, other promises of the trade agreement remain unfulfilled. In the 15 years since NAFTA’s passage, people have experienced job loss in the manufacturing and rural sectors, and the annual number of immigrants to the US from Mexico has more than doubled. The state of the US economy has emerged as the major topic of the ongoing presidential primaries.

In this timely tri-national conference, participants will evaluate the impact of NAFTA on rural landscape, including the impact on producers and employment in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It will explore the links between development, migration and trade policy, and review initiatives underway to expand NAFTA with the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). Participants will discuss the next administration’s policy options for building a more equitable U.S. trade agenda.

What: Public Event to discuss NAFTA Linking Agriculture, Development and Migration: A Critical Look at NAFTA Past, Present and Future Who: Representative Marcy Kaptur, Democrat representing Ohio’s 9th District The Hon. José Jacques y Medina, Deputy of Mexico City The Hon. Victor Quintana, Deputy of the State of Chihuahua, Mexico The Hon. Yeidckol Polevnsky, Senator of Mexico State The Hon. Peter Julian, Member of Parliament, Canada Where: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Root Room Washington, D.C. When: March 5, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Elected officials and NGO participants will be available for comment on March 6 at 11:00 a.m. at: Linder Family Commons George Washington University Elliot School of International Affairs 1957 E Street, NW, Suite 602 Washington, DC 20052
Convening organizations: The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), Global Exchange, the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC), the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), the Alliance for Responsible Trade (ART), and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).