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Fwd: En;WF,US Trade Rep's bizarre version of successes of NAFTA,Jul 26

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  • jack brown
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    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2001
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      >From: owner-chiapas95-english@... (Chiapas95-english)
      >Reply-To: chiapas-i@...
      >To: chiapas95-english@...
      >Subject: En;WF,US Trade Rep's bizarre version of successes of NAFTA,Jul 26
      >Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 08:20:57 -0500 (CDT)
      >
      >--
      >This message is forwarded to you by the editors of the Chiapas95
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      >
      >From: "Dana Aldea" <thrassa15@...>
      >To: chiapas-i@...
      >Subject: WF,US-Trade Rep's bizarre NAFTA eulogy,Jul 26
      >Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 13:33:12 +0000
      >
      >Reading this text made me feel actually physically sick
      >
      >* * *
      >
      >Washington File
      >
      >26 July 2001
      >
      >Text: U.S. Trade Rep. Says NAFTA Rewards Mexico, United States
      >
      >(Zoellick says pact fueled economic growth in both nations) (4040)
      >
      >The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has fueled economic growth
      >in both the United States and Mexico, says U.S. Trade Representative Robert
      >Zoellick.
      >
      >Appearing July 26 before the National Foreign Trade Council, Zoellick said
      >NAFTA has contributed to job creation and economic reforms in Mexico,
      >supported the country's "resilience amidst the challenges of
      >globalization,"
      >and laid the groundwork for stronger environmental safeguards.
      >
      >As for the United States, Zoellick said U.S. exports to NAFTA partners
      >Mexico and Canada now support 2.9 million U.S. jobs: 900,000 more than when
      >the trade pact was approved by the U.S. Congress in 1993. Such jobs pay
      >wages that are 13 to 18 percent higher than the average U.S. wage, Zoellick
      >said. In addition, he said, NAFTA has helped reduce prices on everyday
      >consumer goods, increased consumer choice, and stimulated economic growth.
      >NAFTA, said Zoellick, has helped boost the competitiveness of the entire
      >U.S. economy -- "a benefit that's felt throughout the United States," he
      >added.
      >
      >Zoellick said developing nations "frequently fail to invest their capital
      >productivity." But NAFTA, he argued, has helped solve this problem for
      >Mexico "by creating a more stable and predictable environment for
      >investment
      >and leading foreign capital toward more productive and efficient uses."
      >
      >As for the merits of enacting new trade agreements, such as the proposed
      >Free Trade Area of the Americas, Zoellick said that "there is something
      >tragic about seeing the leaders of almost every poor, developing country
      >imploring the United States to expand free trade with their countries,
      >while
      >a movement of largely middle- and upper-class protesters in developed
      >nations try to close the door of opportunity." Quoting former Mexican
      >President Ernesto Zedillo, Zoellick said the protesters "seem strangely
      >determined to save the developing world from development."
      >
      >Nevertheless, "all of us want to see trade support protection of the
      >environment and core labor standards," Zoellick concluded. "But in the end,
      >the numberless and voiceless poor will only have a chance to raise their
      >living standards and offer a better life for their children if global trade
      >and investment flows continue to expand."
      >
      >Following is the text of Zoellick's prepared remarks:
      >
      >[Note: In the text, "billion" equals "thousand million."]
      >
      >(begin text)
      >
      >As Prepared for Delivery
      >
      >Robert B. Zoellick
      >U.S. Trade Representative
      >National Foreign Trade Council
      >Washington, D.C.
      >
      >July 26, 2001
      >
      >I appreciate being given this opportunity to speak to the National Foreign
      >Trade Council. I want first to thank NFTC and its members for your support
      >as President Bush seeks to regain momentum for America's trade agenda. We
      >have an extraordinary opportunity to shape the design of the world trading
      >network -- and to ensure that the United States is the nucleus of this
      >dynamic system. Yet we cannot do so without the strong, sustained support
      >of
      >America's private sector.
      >
      >We are in the midst of a great debate about trade. We can no longer presume
      >a domestic consensus on the benefits of openness and expansion. Therefore,
      >it should not be a surprise that the opponents of openness have targeted
      >the
      >North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, which seven years ago created
      >the largest free trade area in the world. What is a surprise is that the
      >proponents of an internationally engaged United States have so often
      >abandoned the debate to the economic isolationists and false purveyors of
      >fright and retreat.
      >
      >If we are going to extend free trade to all the Americas, if we are going
      >to
      >launch a new global round of trade negotiations that will lift the fortunes
      >of the developing and developed world alike, if we are going to negotiate
      >free trade agreements with reforming, opening economies so as to set models
      >and raise hopes for others -- and if we are going to persuade the U.S.
      >Congress to support the President on trade -- then we -- all of you -- must
      >tell the truth to the American people about the benefits of trade and
      >openness. And in telling the truth, we must dispel the myths about NAFTA.
      >
      >NAFTA offers the high ground on which to plant the standards of free trade,
      >democracy, and support for developing nations.
      >
      >First, NAFTA was one of the United States' first post-Cold War political
      >and
      >economic commitments. As such, it offers a model for U.S. engagement with
      >many countries -- for neighbors near and friends afar. So let's put the
      >question directly: Has NAFTA promoted U.S. interests? Has NAFTA been good
      >for U.S. families, workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses?
      >
      >Second, NAFTA offers a concrete example of free trade between developed and
      >developing nations. Indeed, this is a test case with a 2,000-mile border.
      >For all the ink spilled speculating about "globalization," NAFTA offers a
      >"ground zero" case of policy in action. So how has NAFTA affected the
      >overall relationship between the United States, Canada, and Mexico? Does
      >NAFTA offer a new model for North-South relations, one of the great foreign
      >and economic policy challenges now that the Cold War division between East
      >and West is over?
      >
      >Third, NAFTA has been the cornerstone of Mexico's development strategy,
      >politically and economically. What has NAFTA accomplished for the people of
      >Mexico? What do the Mexican people think of NAFTA?
      >
      >These are all questions that need answering. It's time to speak directly
      >about NAFTA's legacy.
      >
      >NAFTA: Good for the United States
      >
      >The real story of NAFTA is beginning to be told. A recent Business Week
      >article on NAFTA concluded that "on its major objective -- promoting trade
      >between the United States and Mexico NAFTA has been a huge success." But we
      >need to get the details of the story out.
      >
      >We can begin with what NAFTA and open trade have meant for the average U.S.
      >family. And these are conservative estimates: NAFTA and the Uruguay Round
      >together have resulted in higher incomes and lower prices for goods, with
      >benefits amounting to $1300 to $2000 a year for a family of four. That is
      >real money for farmers, nurses, teachers, police officers, and office
      >workers. The real beneficiaries are lower-income Americans, who bear a
      >disproportionate burden when prices for food, clothing, and appliances are
      >kept artificially high because of trade barriers.
      >
      >It is no coincidence that the longest period of economic growth in U.S.
      >history, with levels of non-inflationary full employment beyond the
      >forecasts of any economist, came in the aftermath of NAFTA. Ross Perot
      >claimed that NAFTA would lead to "a great sucking sound" that would swallow
      >U.S. jobs. Well, Ross Perot was right about a great sucking sound, but
      >wrong
      >about the effect: NAFTA has been pulling American goods and grains into
      >Mexico, benefiting consumers and supporting quality U.S. jobs here at home.
      >In the seven years since NAFTA's implementation, U.S. exports to Mexico and
      >Canada now support 2.9 million American jobs 900,000 more than in 1993.
      >Such
      >jobs pay wages that are 13 to 18 percent higher than the average American
      >wage.
      >
      >When the Congress approved NAFTA in 1993, trade between the United States
      >and Mexico totaled $81 billion. Last year, our trade hit $247 billion --
      >nearly half a million dollars per minute. U.S. exports to our NAFTA
      >partners
      >increased 104 percent between 1993 and 2000; U.S. trade with the rest of
      >the
      >world grew only half as fast. Today we export more to Mexico than to
      >Britain, France, Germany, and Italy combined.
      >
      >Time Magazine recently quantified the daily volume of the U.S.-Mexican
      >trade: one million barrels of oil; 432 tons of bell peppers; 238,000 light
      >bulbs; 166 Volkswagen Beetles; 16,250 toasters; and $51 million worth of
      >auto parts. Mexico and the United States are being knit together in a
      >variety of ways. The number of passengers flying between the United States
      >and Mexico nearly doubled between 1988 and 1999. The border town of Laredo,
      >Texas has the highest grossing Wal-Mart in the United States thanks to the
      >active cross-border commerce.
      >
      >Earlier this year, as California faced an energy crisis, the Mexican state
      >of Baja California stepped in to sell the San Diego area enough electricity
      >to power 50,000 homes. More than 500,000 Americans live in Mexico, and more
      >than 2,600 American companies have operations there.
      >
      >NAFTA has provided real benefits for real people. The Ray-Caroll County
      >Agriculture Co-op in Richmond, Kansas credits NAFTA with opening the
      >Mexican
      >agriculture market, and as a result soybean exports to Mexico now
      >constitute
      >65 percent of its total sales, up from 10 percent in the pre-NAFTA era. TRW
      >reports that because NAFTA reduced tariffs and eliminated local content
      >requirements on automobiles the company did not go through with its
      >pre-NAFTA plans to move an automobile parts plant in Lebanon, Tennessee to
      >Mexico. Instead, TRW has added more than 200 jobs at the plant since the
      >NAFTA's passage.
      >
      >U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico have nearly doubled since NAFTA was
      >approved in 1993; our beef and veal exports have increased over five-fold;
      >and our corn exports have increased nearly eighteen-fold.
      >
      >In the manufacturing sector, the value of U.S. textile and apparel exports
      >to Mexico and Canada has doubled under NAFTA, reaching nearly $10 billion
      >last year. Exports of American-made cars to Mexico have increased more than
      >1;000 percent. I'm told that someone from DaimlerChrysler is in the
      >audience, so you know the story of NAFTA. In 1993, Chrysler exported just
      >5,300 vehicles to Mexico. The next year, with NAFTA in effect, it exported
      >17,500. Last year, over 60,000 Chrysler vehicles were exported to Mexico.
      >These exports support real jobs for real Americans, which is why I wonder
      >about the wisdom of American auto union executives opposing trade
      >agreements
      >that will boost auto exports.
      >
      >NAFTA has done much more than open export markets for American businesses
      >though. By knocking down barriers to trade, it has boosted productivity and
      >wages, reduced prices on everyday consumer goods, increased consumer
      >choice,
      >and stimulated economic growth. NAFTA has helped boost the competitiveness
      >of the entire U.S. economy -- a benefit that's felt throughout the United
      >States.
      >
      >NAFTA: A Successful Model of North-South Relations
      >
      >Looking to North-South relations, the NAFTA legacy extends far beyond an
      >agreement on trade. NAFTA represents a commitment by Mexico to modernize --
      >politically and economically -- and a commitment by the United States and
      >Canada to support this great change. NAFTA links Mexico to North America
      >and
      >at the same time helps the United States and Canada realize the full
      >potential of a new, larger North America.
      >
      >The NAFTA model signals an historic shift: In the 19' century strong
      >countries wanted weak neighbors they could dominate. In the 21 St century,
      >strong countries will benefit from prosperous, democratic neighbors.
      >Troubled neighbors export problems. Healthy neighbors create regions of
      >vitality, growth, and peace.
      >
      >NAFTA has been the means to finally fulfill a distinctly American dream of
      >cooperative economic and political relations between the United States and
      >Mexico dating back two centuries.
      >
      >But over the years U.S. relations with Mexico were marked mostly by
      >disappointments and conflicts -- on both sides. Mexicans remembered that
      >they lost about half of their new nation to the United States through war.
      >Americans recalled Mexico's nationalization of U.S. investments, its
      >reflexive hostility to U.S. foreign policies, and Mexico's retreat into
      >economic autarky.
      >
      >During the 1980s, the twin pressures of a shrinking economy at home and a
      >more competitive economy around the world spurred Mexico's leaders to
      >choose
      >a different economic path: they gradually deregulated and privatized the
      >economy, signed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and opened
      >Mexico to competition, fresh ideas, and new hope. The results were
      >breathtaking: Today, Mexico is an economic -- and political -- success
      >story.
      >
      >Indeed, NAFTA was a key to the political transformation of a modernizing
      >Mexico. Since 1994, when NAFTA went into effect, the one-party state has
      >yielded to governors from opposition parties in more than one-third of
      >Mexico's states. Even the redoubt of Mexico City, the seat of centralized
      >power for 500 years, fell to the free will of the electorate.
      >
      >Last year, Mexico's democracy sparked change at the highest level. In the
      >freest and most open presidential election in the country's history, Mexico
      >elected a new President, Vicente Fox, from an opposition party for the
      >first
      >time since that nation's revolution. It was no accident that Mexico opened
      >up its political system and embraced democracy after it liberalized its
      >economic system through NAFTA. We have seen this same transformation in
      >Taiwan, South Korea, and other parts of the world.
      >
      >The presidential election was also a referendum on how the Mexican people
      >viewed NAFTA. NAFTA's opponents outside of Mexico often claim they are
      >defending the Mexican people against an agreement that has led to
      >exploitation. But when the people of Mexico had the opportunity to speak
      >for
      >themselves, 80 percent of them voted for major-party candidates who
      >endorsed
      >North American free trade.
      >
      >Mexico's new era of democratic politics has helped foster more cooperative
      >relations with the United States, Canada, and rest of the world. For much
      >of
      >the 20' century, Mexico's leaders viewed the United States through an
      >adversarial lens. Today, we are working cooperatively on issues spanning
      >from the environment and drugs to law enforcement and immigration. NAFTA
      >has
      >helped both countries developed a greater appreciation for the tremendous
      >opportunities presented by being neighbors.
      >
      >There is a new, more open economic environment in Mexico. The prevailing
      >spirit is one of free enterprise and equal opportunity, in which
      >entrepreneurship is rewarded and graft is punished. Mexico has also begun
      >to
      >develop closer links to not only the U.S. economy but the global economy.
      >Following on the success of NAFTA, Mexico has signed free trade agreements
      >with 32 countries -- including an agreement with the member states of the
      >European Union. Mexico has also adopted a progressive leadership position
      >within the World Trade Organization, helping to urge other developing
      >nations to embrace the benefits of trade liberalization.
      >
      >Mexico's WTO role is a reminder that NAFTA's benefits extend beyond North
      >America. NAFTA set an example for the rest of Latin America, sending an
      >unmistakable signal in favor of democracy and open markets. As the reform
      >movement gains momentum throughout Latin America, and as we press forward
      >with the Free Trade Area of the Americas, it is more important than ever
      >that we continue to build on NAFTA's successes.
      >
      >What Has NAFTA Accomplished for the People of Mexico?
      >
      >NAFTA has been a macro-economic success. But the essential questions are:
      >What has NAFTA accomplished for the people of Mexico? And is NAFTA a model
      >for developing nations?
      >
      >I occasionally think back to the Mexico I first experienced nearly 20 years
      >ago. It was in the throes of a debt crisis, and the banking system had just
      >been nationalized. Free trade with the United States -- or anyone else --
      >was anathema to the country's leaders. The economy -- and the politicians
      >--
      >lived off of protected, inefficient state-owned industries, especially its
      >patrimony of oil.
      >
      >NAFTA brought a new level of competition to the domestic Mexican market, as
      >U.S. companies faced many fewer barriers to entry. Mexico's businesses have
      >had to adapt, and become more competitive, if they wanted to survive. For
      >the most part, they have survived, and many have thrived.
      >
      >Today, Mexico has one of the most open -- and vibrant -- economies anywhere
      >in the developing world. Despite financial upheaval, exacerbated by the
      >rigidities of the old order, Mexico's gross domestic product grew, on
      >average, 3.5 percent annually in the 1990s. Over the last five years,
      >Mexico's GDP has grown at an average annual rate of 5.5 percent.
      >
      >Ernesto Zedillo, Mexico's former president, has said, "NAFTA has been
      >crucial in transforming Mexico into one of the world's biggest exporting
      >powers." Indeed, NAFTA has fueled Mexico's economic growth; more than half
      >of the 3.5 million jobs created in Mexico since 1995 are connected to
      >trade.
      >
      >As Mexico has become more competitive at home, its companies have expanded
      >into other markets. The value of its mergers and acquisitions abroad
      >tripled
      >in 1999 over the previous year. A number of leading Mexican companies, such
      >as Grupo FAMSA, a furniture and electronics retailer, and Cemex, a cement
      >producer, have even opened operations in the United States.
      >
      >As Mexico has become a player in the global economy, the discipline of
      >markets has helped to reform its economy. Inflation, which averaged 100
      >percent in the 1980s, is now in single digits a major breakthrough for
      >Mexico's poor. The government's budget deficit -14 percent of GDP in 1987
      >--
      >is now one percent of GDP. And many protected sectors of the economy, such
      >as the railroads, have been privatized and are thriving.
      >
      >This transformation benefits the Mexican economy, and the Mexican people.
      >Consider the telecom sector. As prices have come down, more people can
      >afford to make more calls. The total number of minutes of local telephone
      >service has been growing by more than 12 percent a year for the past
      >decade,
      >and the number of long distance minutes has been growing about 16 percent a
      >year.
      >
      >NAFTA also helped Mexico's resilience amidst the challenges of
      >globalization. Following the 1982 peso crisis, it took Mexico seven years
      >to
      >be able to borrow again in international financial markets; after the
      >financial shock of 1994-95, with the help of NAFTA, it took just seven
      >months. Following the 1982 crisis, it took seven years for U.S. exports to
      >Mexico to reach their pre-crisis levels; after the 94-95 shock, it took
      >just
      >17 months.
      >
      >The old corporate state of Mexico is yielding to a new civic society. The
      >press is now more independent, and more honest -- a striking contrast to
      >the
      >state-controlled media of years past. NGOs, lobbying for environmental and
      >human rights causes, have blossomed.
      >
      >NAFTA has also laid the groundwork for environmental improvements, giving
      >the Mexican government new incentives to pass environmental legislation and
      >improve enforcement efforts. As a result, Mexico has higher environmental
      >standards than in the pre-NAFTA era. Through the North American Commission
      >for Environmental Cooperation, created by NAFTA, Mexico and the United
      >States have a forum for addressing environmental issues of continental
      >concern, such as emissions levels and biodiversity protection. In the El
      >Paso/Ciudad Juarez area, a cross-border air quality committee has been
      >established to remedy local air pollution problems. NAFTA created a border
      >commission, with public hearings, that approves sewage and water projects
      >near the U.S.-Mexico border.
      >
      >Developing nations frequently fail to invest their capital productively.
      >NAFTA has helped solve this problem for Mexico, by creating a more stable
      >and predictable environment for investment and leading foreign capital
      >toward more productive and efficient uses. Talking about investment
      >sometimes sound cold and abstract to opponents of trade. But investment is
      >what enables Mexico's industries to modernize, Mexico's people to make the
      >transition from subsistence to steady employment, and Mexico's children to
      >attend quality schools that will better equip them to compete in a digital,
      >globalized economy.
      >
      >There is something tragic about seeing the leaders of almost every poor,
      >developing country imploring the United States to expand free trade with
      >their countries while a movement of largely middle and upper class
      >protesters in developed nations try to close the door of opportunity. As
      >President Bush noted in his speech to the World Bank last week, "Those who
      >protest free trade are no friends of the poor. Those who protest free trade
      >seek to deny them their best hope for escaping poverty." Ernesto Zedillo
      >has
      >said of the protesters that they "seem strangely determined to save the
      >developing world from development."
      >
      >All of us want to see trade support protection of the environment and core
      >labor standards. But in the end, the numberless and voiceless poor will
      >only
      >have a chance to raise their living standards and offer a better life for
      >their children if global trade and investment flows continue to expand.
      >
      >Beyond NAFTA: Restoring Momentum for Trade Liberalization The tremendous
      >success of NAFTA underscores the importance of expanding free trade
      >throughout the hemisphere -- and the world. When President Bush assumed
      >office, the clouds of the failure to launch the new round of global trade
      >negotiations in Seattle were still hanging low, leaving many dispirited
      >around the world. These troubles strike at the heart of the global trading
      >system.
      >
      >If you look at the record of the past few years, the United States has been
      >falling behind. Today, the European Union has 27 free trade or special
      >customs agreements around the world, 20 of which it negotiated in the
      >1990s;
      >it is negotiating another 15 right now. Countries throughout East Asia are
      >quickening the pace of special trade negotiations. Japan is negotiating a
      >free trade agreement with Singapore, and is exploring free trade agreements
      >with Canada, Mexico, Korea, and Chile. In our own hemisphere, there are 30
      >free trade agreements, and the United States is party to only one.
      >
      >President Bush decided to regain momentum for America by pursuing trade
      >globally, regionally, and bilaterally. We are creating a "competition in
      >liberalization" with the United States at the center of a network of
      >initiatives. We are backing words with actions across this agenda, and we
      >are starting to see results.
      >
      >In the first six months of the Bush administration, we have made progress
      >in
      >turning the idea of the Free Trade Area of the Americas into a reality.
      >
      >The importance of breaking down barriers throughout the hemisphere is
      >epitomized by the experience of Caterpillar -- headquartered in my home
      >state of Illinois. Caterpillar's motor graders made for export to Chile
      >face
      >nearly $15,000 in tariffs. When Caterpillar manufacturers motor graders in
      >Brazil for export to Chile, the tariff is just $3,700. And when
      >Caterpillar's competitors produce the same product in Canada, it can be
      >exported to Chile free of tariffs because of the Canada-Chile free trade
      >agreement.
      >
      >We are also negotiating free trade agreements with Chile and Singapore,
      >sending a signal to the nations of Latin America and the rest of the world
      >that the United States will reward good performers.
      >
      >On the global front, after 15 years of negotiations we have broken through
      >the last major barriers to China's accession to the WTO.
      >
      >We are working with all the members of the WTO -- developed and developing
      >nations -- to ensure a successful launch of a new round of global trade
      >negotiations less than 15 weeks from now in Doha.
      >
      >Under President Bush's leadership, the United States is returning to where
      >it belongs -- at the center of global trade, not on the sidelines.
      >
      >But wherever I go, and whatever progress we make, I am asked the same
      >question: Will the Congress support the administration in trade? Will the
      >Congress grant President Bush the negotiating authority granted to each of
      >the previous five presidents?
      >
      >We need your help. And we need it now. Not next year. Not next week. Now.
      >
      >This is not an abstract debate on trade policy. I'm at the table now --
      >every day -- negotiating with countries from around the world. They have
      >the
      >full authority to negotiate for their nations' interest. I need it, too.
      >
      >If we are unable to overcome the stain of Seattle by launching a new round
      >of global trade negotiations, special trade agreements will proliferate
      >even
      >more quickly -- most often without the United States. America will not be
      >at
      >the table helping to set the trade rules of the 21st century. Our absence
      >will curtail consumer choice, increase prices, and undermine American
      >competitiveness.
      >
      >NAFTA illustrates one of the fundamental truths about trade: Trade is not a
      >"you win, I lose" proposition. By generating growth, trade multiplies the
      >purchasing power of our trading partners, which in turn benefits our
      >businesses, farmers, workers, and consumers.
      >
      >We should strive for more NAFTAs, to help build a world that trades in
      >freedom -- opening new markets for producers, new choices for consumers,
      >and
      >new avenues for political and economic cooperation between governments.
      >
      >By pursuing this hopeful vision, we can set a course of peace and
      >prosperity
      >-- for the United States, our NAFTA partners, and the global system -- for
      >decades to come.
      >
      >(end text)
      >
      >(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
      >Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
      >
      >
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