Clinton Reversal on NAFTA Model?
March 30, 2010
While former President Clinton was visiting
At a news conference in
Port-au-PrinceMonday, Clintonsaid when he helped Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide return to power in 1994, Clintonalso signed legislation that increased the flow of cheap American rice into . Haiti
But now, he says, "I think it was a mistake. I think it was part of a global trend that was wrong-headed."
says the theory behind that global trend was that wealthy countries could provide poorer countries with cheaper food than their farmers could grow. That would lead poor countries to skip directly to industrialization. But Clinton says, once he left office and saw the effects of that policy on farmers in developing countries, he changed his mind. Clinton
"It is unrealistic to expect that a country can totally obliterate its capacity to feed itself and just skip a stage of development," he says. "It seems almost laughable now that we ever thought it."
It’s heartening to see one of the strongest proponents of
the neoliberal economic model come to realize just how damaging that model has
When NAFTA entered into force in 1994, cheap subsidized
American corn from corporate farms flooded the Mexican economy, forcing hundreds
of thousands of small corn farmers to leave their farms. Many of these farmers, faced with corn prices
below their cost of production, often had no choice but to emigrate to the
(Thanks to Flickr user talkradionews for the photo)