"If NAFTA-like trade deals are so bad for developing nations, why are they lining up to get on board?"
Hand out enough fair-trade leaflets on campus, and you'll get asked this question soon enough by some smart ass from the Libertarian Debating and Choral Arts Society, or whatever the equivalent is at your school.
The Wall Street Journal provides clues that should inform your answer:
After more than a decade as chief executive at Grupo Financiero Banamex, the Mexican banking company that is one Citigroup's choicest businesses, the 59-year-old Mr. Medina-Mora resigned last week to devote more attention to a daunting new job. The Mexican banker has to somehow turn around Citigroup's struggling consumer-banking operations world-wide...
Mr. Medina-Mora's growing power reflects his leadership of operations that stayed out of the headlines as much of Citigroup suffered through the financial crisis. Banamex and other Citigroup operations in Latin America overseen by Mr. Medina-Mora had $12.1 billion in net revenue last year, or about 20% of the total for Citigroup's core businesses.
Michael Mayo, a managing director and banking analyst at Calyon Securities, says Mr. Medina-Mora "has led one area of Citigroup that hasn't had significant issues." Banamex is a favorite of Mr. Pandit, who has praised its "universal bank" model of cooperation between different parts of the bank as Citigroup's future.
"We're going to export it around the world," Mr. Pandit said in 2008. The CEO has dispatched executives to Mexico to learn more about Mr. Medina-Mora's successful formula.
Turning to a helpful magazine profile of "the most influential and important people in Nafta commerce and finance" in the magazine Global Finance, we learn that:
In other words, local corporate honchos look North, see a way to climb up the corporate ladder by privatizing a national asset, advocating for a flawed trade deal, and letting a bigger corporation get in on a piece of the pie. And by the way, said flawed trade deal gives the big foreign corporation outrageous rights to make sure that the pie keeps coming.
By the time millions of your countrymen are left out of work and your country has been taken over by drug-traffickers, you've got a golden elevator up to a new global throne.
Folks, Mexico didn't sign up for anything. People like Medina-Mora signed Mexico up for NAFTA. Now, the rest of Mexico is left trying to pick up the pieces.