Workshop Agenda

Workshop Speakers



Curriculum Materials


Mexico Facts

Photo Gallery

Primary Source Documents

Acronym List

Glossary of Economic Terms



2003 Summer Institute for Teachers

Ten Years After NAFTA:
How Has Globalization Affected Mexico?

Acronym List / Glossary

AFL-CIO  American Federation of Labor
BECC  Border Environment Cooperation Commission

Commission for Environmental Cooperation

A new institution created by the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC). The CEC is governed by a council composed of Cabinet-level appointees, one from each of the three member countries, who have domestic responsibility for environmental protection. The affairs of the CEC are administered by a full-time secretariat located in Montreal, under the direction of an executive director. The CEC also receives ongoing advice and information from the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) composed of 15 citizens, five from each of the three NAFTA countries. The CEC is intended to foster cooperation among the parties on hemispheric environmental issues and to be an environmental watchdog.

Any resident of the three member countries may file a submission with the Secretariat claiming that a party “is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws.” After considering the case, the Council may recommend that a factual record be prepared. The Council is not empowered to give recommendations or take any specified action against the offending country.

CET Common External Tariff

Centro Internacional para Mejoramiento del Maíz y Trigo
(International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center)

An organization which conducts research on corn and wheat with the goal of eliminating world hunger. Among other projects, it stores maize and wheat genetic resources — including rare, heirloom seeds — from all over the world.

Chapter 11

In NAFTA, this chapter deals with foreign direct investment. It was intended to protect foreign investors from discriminatory treatment by  the host government including expropriation or actions “tantamount to expropriation.” Corporations have used the vague wording of the treaty to sue the governments of all three member countries for passing environmental laws that threaten their profitability.

CLC Canadian Labor Congress

Common Market

Member countries agree to abolish tariffs and quotas among members; establish common external tariffs and quotas; and allow free movement of goods, services and workers


Congreso del Trabajo
(Labor Congress)

Mexican labor umbrella organization. Closely affiliated with the PRI.

Comparative Advantage The ability to produce a good at lower cost, relative to other goods, compared to another country. With perfect competition and undistorted markets, countries tend to export goods in which they have comparative advantage.

Consejo de Médicos y Parteras Indígenas Tradicionales de Chiapas
(Council of Traditional Indigenous Doctors and Midwives from Chiapas)


Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad
(National Commission on Biodiversity)


Customs Union

Member countries agree to abolish tariffs and quotas among members and establish common external tariffs and quotas


Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement

A free trade agreement between the United States and Canada that was enacted in 1989. Later became the basis for NAFTA.


Export price that is “unfairly low,” defined as either below the home market price or below cost, thus undercutting local producers

Economic Development Increase in the economic standard of living of a country’s population, normally accomplished by increasing its stocks of physical and human capital and improving its technology.
EDF Environmental Defense
Fast Track

Under fast track legislation, the U.S. Congress has to approve or reject commercial treaties in their entirety, without introducing amendments. Clinton was unable to renew fast track authorization in 1997. In December of 2001, Congress voted 215 to 214 to grant Bush fast track authority.


Frente Auténtico del Trabajo
(Authentic Labor Front)

Organization of independent labor unions.


Foreign Direct Investment

Acquisition or construction of physical capital by a firm from one (source) country in another (host) country.


Free Trade Area

A group of countries that adopt free trade (zero tariffs and no other restrictions on trade) on trade among themselves, while not necessarily changing the barriers that each member country has on trade with the countries outside the group.


Free Trade Area of the Americas

The idea for the FTAA was launched at the 1994 Summit of the Americas. An FTAA would join all the Western Hemisphere states except Cuba in a trade agreement to be concluded no later than 2005. The drafts of the FTAA have used the WTO Agreement and NAFTA as a basis for the new agreement. The current draft contains no side agreements on labor and the environment.


General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

A multilateral treaty entered into in 1948 by the intended members of the International Trade Organization, the purpose of which was to implement many of the rules and negotiated tariff reductions that would be overseen by the ITO. With the failure of the ITO to be approved, the GATT became the principal institution regulating trade policy until it was subsumed within the WTO in 1995.

GMO Genetically modified organism

International Collaborative Biodiversity Group–Maya

A U.S. government-funded project aimed at the bioprospecting of the medicinal plants and traditional knowledge of the Maya.

IDB Inter-American Development Bank

International Monetary Fund

An organization formed originally to help countries to stabilize exchange rates, but today pursuing a broader agenda of financial stability and assistance. As of July 2000, it had 182 member countries.


North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation

The environmental side agreement to NAFTA brokered in 1992-93 by Pres. Clinton to consolidate support for NAFTA in Congress.

NAALC North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation
NACEC  North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation
NACU North American Customs Union
NADBank  North American Development Bank

North American Free Trade Agreement

The agreement to form a free trade area United States, Canada, and Mexico that went into effect January 1, 1994. Based on the 1989 CUSFTA agreements.


North American Free Trade Agreement–Transitional Adjustment Assistance

A program designed to provide training for workers displaced by trade or the flight of jobs, and to reinsert them into the U.S. economy.

NGO non-governmental organization
NRDC National Resources Defense Council

nontariff barrier

Any policy that interferes with exports or imports other than a simple tariff, prominently including quotas and voluntary export restraints.

NWF National Wildlife Federation

Partido Acción Nacional
(National Action Party)


Partido de la Revolución Democrática  
(Party of the Democratic Revolution)


Partido de la Revolución Institucional
(Institutional Revolutionary Party)

PTA Preferential Trade Agreement
Predatory Dumping

Dumping for the purpose of driving competitors out of business and then raising price.


Rules of Origin

Rules among members of a free trade area that determine which products can be transferred duty-free. In the case of NAFTA, a product has to have been substantially transformed so that a change in tariff classification has occurred, or it must have 50 percent (62.5 percent for cars) member-country content.


Secretaría de Medio Ambiente, Recursos Naturales y Pesca
(Secretariat of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fishing)

Became SEMARNAT in 2000.


Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales
(Secretariat for the Environment and Natural Resources)

Sustainable Development

development that meets the economic, environmental, and social needs of the present while protecting the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


Union of Mexican Workers

A group of independent labor unions in Mexico.


Uruguay Round

The round of multilateral trade negotiations under the GATT that commenced in 1986 and was completed in 1994 with the creation of the WTO. In addition it broke new ground by negotiating over agriculture, textiles and apparel, services, and intellectual property.

USTR Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

World Trade Organization

A global international organization that specifies and enforces rules for the conduct of international trade policies and serves as a forum for negotiations to reduce barriers to trade. Formed in 1995 as the successor to the GATT, it had 136 member countries as of April 2000.

WWF   World Wildlife Fund



Research Questions

What is globalization?

Why did the U.S., Mexico and Canada sign NAFTA?

Why were the labor and environment side agreements added?

Does the labor side agreement protect workers?

Does the environmental side agreement protect the environment?

What is Chapter 11?

How has globalization affected growth in Mexico?

Who benefits from NAFTA?

What is sustainable development?

Should NAFTA be expanded?

© 2012, The Regents of the University of California, Last Updated - December 11, 2003