NAFTA Seen as Resulting in Devastation for Mexico's Corn Growers

Regarding Part 3 of the series, "Farming a Shrinking Planet," the article "Trade Deal With the United States Puts Many Mexican Farmers at Risk," Nov. 4: If the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is passed, I am concerned about the possible effects it could have on the 2.7 million corn producers in Mexico.

Any benefits NAFTA might bring to Mexico would be outweighed by the problems brought on by the displacement of millions of farmers and their families due to a drastic reduction in the production of the nation's largest agricultural product - corn. Under NAFTA, Mexican farmers could not hope to compete with US farmers, due to climate conditions and geographical disadvantages.

I fail to see how an agreement such as NAFTA, which is intended to benefit all participating countries, can justify the risk of possible economic disaster for a nation by reducing or eliminating the production of its main food staple. A nation cannot eliminate the livelihood of millions of its people without causing an economic domino effect. One problem leads to another. If NAFTA is passed it will not be as profitable or beneficial to the overall economy of Mexico as expressed by the proponents of the a greement. Alisha Whitaker, Burnsville, Miss. Empathy for French farmers

Regarding the editorials "Against the Grain," Oct. 28, and "Back From the Trade-War Brink," Nov. 12: About one-third of the farmers in Nebraska have been forced from the land by rising costs and falling farm prices during the last 10 years. Similar statistics apply to other agricultural states. This is "progress" under the so-called free-market system? During this time agricultural-business giants such as Con-Agra of Omaha, Neb., and Cargill of Minneapolis have become bigger and richer.

I sympathize with the French farmers because, under the international free-market system of GATT, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, they will also see their numbers greatly reduced by rising costs and falling farm prices. Hank F. Bohling, Auburn, Neb. A mandate for the UN

Given the emerging regional trends in the direction of peace, it is time that the United Nations General Assembly changes both the tone and the content of its resolutions regarding Israel. With the sole exception of the United States, UN member nations continue to pass resolutions which repeatedly have the effect of hindering - not helping - the peace process.

One important case in point is the UN's refusal to allow Israel, like other countries, to hold key positions such as a nonpermanent membership on the Security Council, the presidency of the General Assembly, and chairmanships of various committees. Without this, Israel uniquely continues to be denied full participation in the work of the UN, and an opportunity is being missed to grant Israel the international acceptance it needs as it considers the risks it must take in the peace process.

The current (47th) session of the General Assembly provides the chance to reverse the UN's defamation of Israel. It is crucial that all Americans seeking constructive change in the fragile Middle East encourage our government leaders to work with foreign representatives to end this trend of "Israel-bashing." Mark J. Levinson, Boston President, American Jewish Committee, Greater Boston Chapter

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.