More Liberal North American Trade Source Of Pain Beyond United States

It's bad enough that the North American Free Trade Treaty didn't live up to its hype with everyday Americans. The much-heralded agreement also appears to be driving up drug violence in Mexico and beyond, according to a prominent Honduran journalist.

Honduras Weekly editor Marco Caceres has a theory about NAFTA. It's a killing machine to some extent. It has helped spur the illegal drug trade, causing organized crime syndicates, drug cartels and gangs to thrive. Back in the early 1990s, NAFTA's supporters envisioned the development of a North American Trade Zone as a way to empower everyday Mexicans to raise their standard of living -- not criminals.

The pact's move to open up trade relations with Mexico has allowed "the relatively easy entrance of their precious product," observes Caceres in the Huffington Post recently. In return, it has given drug kingpins more power to "terrorize the people of Central America," causing more to emigrate illegally to the United States.

The hidden cost to U.S. taxpayers? More than $90 billion spent on border security to prevent those from south of the border from entering the United States and at least $100 million to fight Central America's so-called drug war.

"NAFTA is killing, maiming, and displacing hundreds of thousands of people in Central America and Mexico... and the U.S. And it is costing U.S. taxpayers plenty at a time when Congress and the Obama Administration are bickering about how to reduce spending (before the U.S. goes the way of Greece) and the baby boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 people per day, swiftly reducing the size of the U.S. tax revenue base," Caceres writes.

For what? To get clothing cheap? "Eh, not worth it. I'll be glad to pay a lot more for my underwear and t-shirts," he added.

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