How beer explains 20 years of NAFTA’s devastating effects on Mexico
Employee Angel Rodriguez checks the beer during the bottling process in the Cervecería Calavera, on July 20, 2012, in Tlanepantla, Mexico State. Producers of handcrafted beer are making their way in Mexico following the emergence of new breweries in crowded neighborhoods of the capital and as large emporiums producing traditional brands like Corona stopped being Mexican-owned. Credit: Ronaldo Schemidt
Mexico’s largest agribusiness association invited me to Aguascalientes to participate in its annual forum in October. The theme for this year’s gathering was “New Perspectives on the Challenge of Feeding the World.”
But it was unclear why Mexico, which now imports 42 percent of its food, would be worried about feeding the world. It wasn’t doing so well feeding its own people.
In part, you can thank the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for that. Twenty years ago, on January 1, 1994, NAFTA took effect, and Mexico was the poster child for the wonders of free trade. The promises seemed endless.
Mexico would e