Friday, December 19, 2003

Funny how the World Bank can release the same report as the CEIP, but draw opposite conclusions:
"Although the World Bank found little conclusive evidence that freer trade with the US and Canada raised Mexican wage levels, the report said it had not reduced the number or quality of jobs nor devastated the country's agriculture.

The bank was broadly positive about the agreement's impact on Mexico, but said in many cases its effects seemed modest.

"The performance of the economy in terms of growth of GDP per capita and real wages was not that remarkable after NAFTA," it said.

In other words: "NAFTA failed to generate substantial job growth in Mexico, has hurt hundreds of thousands of subsistence farmers there and has had 'minuscule' net effects on jobs in US."

FT's headline: "World Bank says trade deal aided Mexico." Try to curb your enthusiasm.

Also: A fascinating, if not always strictly coherent, 4-part editorial in the Arcata Eye compares Oaxaca and Medocino.

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