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2003 Summer Institute for Teachers

Ten Years After NAFTA:
How Has Globalization Affected Mexico?

Curriculum Materials

The following lessons are from The New York Times Learning Network.

In the New York Times lesson plan “Trading Off: Examining Multiple Perspectives on the Effects of NAFTA on Mexico and the United States” students assume varying “personas” — ranging from a Mexican corn farmer to the owner of an American feed company — to analyze how NAFTA has affected different sectors of society. The article “In Corn’s Cradle, U.S. Imports Bury Family Farms” is also discussed.

In “Sweating the Big Stuff: A Lesson About Labor Conditions Around the World” students read the article “Labor Standards Clash With Global Reality” and investigate the labor practices of a variety of corporations.

“Playing by Different Rules: Examining American Imperialism Abroad” has students analyze U.S. actions abroad by looking at the specific example of power plants being built in Mexicali to serve California consumers. Students read the article “U.S. Will Get Power, and Pollution, From Mexico.

In “World Trade-Offs: Exploring the Effects of World Trade on Your City” students read “Free Speech vs. Free Trade,” an article about the “Battle for Seattle,” to gain background on some of the arguments against globalization. They then investigate how globalization has affected labor, agriculture, human rights and the environment in their area.

The following lessons are from Online High School Economics Lessons created by James Madison University.

“Why Nations Trade” uses the concept of comparative advantage to explain why nations trade.

In the lesson “What Are the Economic Functions of Government” students explore how government functions to regulate economic activity.

“Limiting Trade” explains the different types of restrictions governments can place on trade, including tariffs, quotas, embargoes, licenses, standards and subsidies.

“How Can Big Business Make Money From Tariffs” describes how businesses can lobby governments to maintain protective tariffs, thereby passing on a “hidden tax” to consumers.


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 10, 2003