Renegotiate NAFTA

During his recent visit to Mexico, how significant it would have been if Sen. McCain had met with some of the Mexican people I met on my recent trip there with the group Witness for Peace. I wish he had talked with some of the families of the more than 2 million small farmers who have been displaced since NAFTA, or with some of the maquiladora workers on the border, who face low and unstable pay and continued lack of access to basic services in their communities.

Since the passage of NAFTA in 1994, over 10 million Mexicans have crossed the border into the United States. In the past 14 years of “free” trade, Mexicans—more than ever before—have been economically forced to leave their homes and families in order to find a means to support their mothers, fathers and siblings.

If McCain met some of the folks I met, he would realize that NAFTA has only added to the economic struggles Mexicans face. Our flawed trade policy has led to more desperation, which has played its role in increasing migration to the U.S.

The next president needs to rethink our trade policy, beginning with a renegotiation of NAFTA.

— Joelle Elana Kellem

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