Grading NAFTA

Despite much hope for change when NAFTA was signed during the Clinton era, Mexico's number one export remains its own people. Fifteen years later, NAFTA stands as an imperfect agreement that exceeded expectations in some areas and completely failed in others. One expert quoted by the New York Times talks about "high productivity poverty," a phenomenon tied to the infamous maquiladoras: massive factories dotting the border that are notorious for their brutal conditions and low wages. NAFTA has also forced an exodus from the Mexican countryside as farmers are no longer are able to make a living due to cheaper imported goods. Obama, who pledged to renegotiate NAFTA during his campaign, visits the country next month.