US president Donald Trump famously argued that NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) is the worst trade deal ever in history, and probably for the first time in his life, he is right. Not for the right reasons obviously (some of which are utterly racist), still NAFTA is truly one of the worst trade deals ever, considering its horrific effect on nonhuman animals.
A couple of days ago the first round of NAFTA re-negotiations, initiated by the Trump administration, has ended. The re-negotiations between the US, Mexico and Canada, comprise of several major issues, among them is animal exploitation, which unfortunately has a major share in the 23 years old deal.
Basically, the trade agreement gradually eliminated nearly all tariffs, and increased “economic integration” between the 3 countries. The result is detrimental to animals. NAFTA virtually made the entire North American continent a giant integrated exploitation zone, promoting intensification of animal exploitation, advancing live animals trade, and animals’ body parts exportation, and eventually amplifying animals’ consumption by making their exploitation more worthwhile for the producers and cheaper for the consumers.
In this post we’ll shortly discuss NAFTA’s effects on the major animal exploitation industries since it was signed. We find it important, because unlike the coverage of NAFTA’s harms to the environment, wild animals and workers’ rights, the most severe suffering intensification element of the trade deal has been mainly neglected so far (with very few exceptions, for example, the extraordinary work of a group called Global Justice for Animals and the Environment).
This deterioration in the state of animals must not be overlooked considering that between 1993 and 2013, trade amongst the three countries in animal products increased more than three-fold, from $4.6 billion a year to $15.5 billion a year.
And now, the US statements regarding their demands in the re-negations can lead to an even worsening of the state of animals in North America. Continue reading