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The Case for Mexico's Rescue: The Peso Package Looks Even Better Now

Courtesy Reuters

One often hears claims that U.S. policy toward Mexico has failed. In Harper's, the argument is that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) shows the Clinton administration has little concern with 'the continuing hemorrhage of American jobs abroad.' The New York Times deplores 'the rapid unraveling of the Mexican economic achievements of 1988-1993.' Publications across the United States assert that freer trade has increased narcotics trafficking through Mexico. Pundits of the far left and the far right appear regularly on television talk shows asserting that the peso crisis is proof the U.S. policy of economic engagement did not work. They say that Presidents Bush and Clinton were wrong to back NAFTA and to support the privatization of Mexico's state-owned industries, its neoliberal market and investment-friendly development strategies, and the rescue package to contain the winter 1994-95 devaluation and collapse of the peso.

These critics are

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