[The following article was originally posted by Union del Barrio, a Communist and Chican@ nationalist and organization based primarily in occupied Aztlan that works toward a unity of interests between the proletariat of both Mexico and the submerged Chican@ nation in the united $tates.]
Since it was imposed in 1994, NAFTA destroyed the Mexican countryside and made the Mexican economy completely dependent on the US economy. This destruction provoked a massive migration of Mexicans to the United States. Carlos Salinas de Gortari and Bill Clinton knew perfectly well that NAFTA would provoke more migration, that was why 1994 was also a key year for the militarization of the border – Operations Gatekeeper, “Hold the Line,” etc. were also introduced during the same period. Truth be told, NAFTA is the root of the border crisis that exists today.
Only the sell-out Mexican ruling class benefitted from NAFTA; it is how some of them became the richest people in the world. In exchange for this new super-wealth for a few, the vast majority of Mexican people were converted into a massive migratory labor pool, dehumanized and treated as disposable by both the U.S. and Mexican governments.
Since then our people have not enjoyed social tranquility nor political rights. Millions of our people have been relegated to living as a fountain of remittances (benefitting the Mexican ruling class), while at the same time serving as a dependable source of easily exploitable labor (benefitting the US economy).
Now Trump demands that Mexico “renegotiate” NAFTA. He argues that Mexico has been “taking advantage” of the USA. What does the sell-out Mexican ruling class do? They prepare the negotiating table for the arrival of their new boss Trump. The sell-out Mexican government does not defend the Mexican people, instead they are intent on collaborating with Trump as a junior partner and test how much more they can squeeze out of the Mexican people.
We must get organized! Building a popular organization, independently committed to the people is truly the only option we have.
This article highlights many important aspects of the proposed “renegotiation” of NAFTA by the Trump administration. It gives us a vital insight into the exact nature of the NAFTA agreement, which most amerikans understand only in the terms laid out by Trump and his cracker-populist base. However, when the article states that it was well known that such an agreement would create more immigration, it was not thoroughly explained why this is the case. It is important to note, as the article has, that this was not an equal deal struck between the ruling classes of the united $tates and Mexico, but that the Mexican bourgeoisie was to serve as a junior partner, benefiting from the immiseration of the Mexican masses.
What it fails to mention is that on list of beneficiaries, the amerikan working class makes an unlikely appearance. It is through agreements like NAFTA, the already inflated wages of the labor aristocracy are supplemented with the importation of cheap commodities which has the added effect of lowering the price of reproduction of their labor power. Essentially, these agreements help to expand amerikan purchasing power without increasing wages. So through NAFTA’s suppression of Mexican wages, the outright theft of indigenous lands in the south, and the complete obliteration of protections for their workers, the amerikan working class is able to capitalize on the resultant lower costs for goods and services. This was the motivating factor that, along with the ongoing drug war, that pushed so many Mexican workers and farmers north in the hopes of achieving an amerikan standard of living.
That is the reason for the militarization of the Border. Such an unfettered mobility of labor would jeopardize the exclusivity and competitiveness of the inflated amerikan wages, as elaborated by Smith. However this militarization was a small price to pay, and indeed it was not amerikans who were forced to pay it! The price for such militarization has been quite literally bled from the Mexican and Chican@ people.