NAFTA: The view from a mind-bogglingly massive Mexican marketHerald

Avocado is on such a winning streak one merchant feels invincible in the face of Donald Trump. Rene Torres says a case of avocados that sold for as little as $13 a few years ago now costs $97.

…Oscar Moherano says he’s worried about what the end of NAFTA would mean to his market.

“The product would drop,” he said. “We’d be producing here with no other place to sell it.”

But these successes don’t tell the full NAFTA story. In fact, for agriculture, it’s been mostly negative. While salaries have gone up in industrial sectors like auto production, traditional farmers have been steamrolled by American competitors.

Margarita Rodriguez Lopez runs an association of farmers at the market. She says specialty products like avocados and papayas have thrived under NAFTA, but there have been sad stories in other sectors.

…Men in cowboy hats overseeing a corn delivery express opinions, discreetly. 

Mexico’s corn producers have been devastated under NAFTA. Imports have surged nearly tenfold from the more productive U.S. As much as manufacturing communities have gained, Mexico’s traditional corn-farming communities have suffered.

“Prices are low,” says a man calling himself Oscar.

A friend next to him says of NAFTA: “It hasn’t helped.”

NAFTA: The view from a mind-bogglingly massive Mexican market | The Chronicle Herald

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