The day after President Bush signed CAFTA, which is essentially a trade agreement for capital but not for labor, I found this neat report on Building a North American Community.
We ought to follow the European model of integration among Canada, Mexico and the United States instead of just the corporate model of a trinational trade agreement.
Our eonomies are intertwined now. Just look at all the Mexicans in the U.S. now, many of whom are here because of NAFTA-induced economic policies that pushed the peasants out of their own nation and into the U.S.
It is in the United States' interest to invest in a prosperous Mexico. We should figure out a way to raise the living standard in Mexico -- which will help alleviate the downward pressure on wages in the U.S. and stem the flow of illegal immigration. Plus, it will create more customers for our products.
We spend a fortune on border control. It would be smart if we could find a way not to pat that cost with an open border -- or a secure North American border. No Mexican terrorists came across the Rio Grande to hurt us -- they come from the South to work.
Read the report, or this summary called the Chairmens' Statement, especially the parts on dramatically increasing the educational exchanges among our three nations (for something the State of Illinois can do).