Of course it didn’t. Why has it taken so long to see that? Globalization happened, that’s why. In summary, NAFTA was supposed to help Mexico develop; keep the Mexican worker in Mexico and raise their standard of living. But, globalization made jobs cheaper in other countries so the moguls of industry moved jobs out of Mexico. And, given the moguls’ anti-labor and greedy, American capitalistic philosophy, NAFTA was never intended to “help” Mexico. It was always intended to “help” the moguls. But, the writers of today’s New York Times article Nafta’s Promise, Unfulfilled dwells only on Mexico’s dilemma of its sweeping poverty.
Try looking at NAFTA from the perspective of those who wrote it, the moguls themselves. It worked fine from their perspective, i.e., making the top two percent super-rich, allowing them to take home millions every year, cutting labor costs at the expense of the American middle-class worker’s standard of living and disempowering labor unions. Of course that plan finally fell through with devastating results; just look around at the state of the economy. Funny thing about killing off the middle-class; when it is gone, there is nothing left to keep the country afloat. It’s one thing to take opportunities and work hard to climb to success, it’s quite another to become rich at the expense of millions of other people. NAFTA didn’t raise Mexico’s standard of living; it lowered America’s.