Paying the Price for Free Trade: Lower Wages, More Pollution, Deformed Babies. This Is Progress?
Pope, Carl, Sierra
Lower wages, more pollution, deformed babies. This is progress?
A rough concrete-block wall now encloses the old battery-recycling plant, but that hasn't stopped the frosty patina of poisonous lead salts that stretches past it and down a mud path. "Careful," our guide says to House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt (Mo.). "The acid from the old batteries is carrying the lead through the wall and down the hill." Below us at the bottom of the mesa, a residential colonia nestles next to a small tributary of the Tijuana River.
That wall is about the only evidence I can find in Tijuana of the border cleanup Congress promised when it adopted the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993. While the number of assembly plants known as maquiladoras has almost doubled, neither clean water nor sewers or hazardous-waste cleanup has followed. With all the new factories, …
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Publication information: Article title: Paying the Price for Free Trade: Lower Wages, More Pollution, Deformed Babies. This Is Progress?. Contributors: Pope, Carl - Author. Magazine title: Sierra. Volume: 82. Issue: 4 Publication date: July-August 1997. Page number: 14+. © 1999 Sierra Magazine. COPYRIGHT 1997 Gale Group.
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