Skip Navigation

Website Sections

News Releases

NAFTA Continues to Decimate Mexican Hog Industry, VT Law School Study Finds

October 11, 2011

SOUTH ROYALTON, VT -- NAFTA's poorly-negotiated trade liberalization policies have been manipulated to exploit Mexican consumers, farm owners and laborers, leading to the demise of that nation's hog industry, according to Vermont Law School Assistant Professor Pamela Vesilind.

Image of Pamela VesilindVesilind, an animal law expert, analyzes the latest developments in this issue, which over the past 20 years has left Mexico with more meat but far fewer farmers, in a study titled "NAFTA's Trojan Horse & the Demise of the Mexican Hog Industry." The article is published in the University of Miami Inter-American Law Review.

"In many ways, this transformation echoed the industrialization of agriculture in the southern and mid-western United States in the late 1980s and the 1990s, but with one critical distinction: In the U.S., domestic corporations led the agriculture transformation," Vesilind writes. "Not so in Mexico, where the catalysts were primarily foreign-owned, multinational corporations, mostly second-generation corporations to the American agricultural ‘revolution.' These industrial farming corporations thrived in Mexico, but their success has been devastating to Mexican agriculture."

The article discusses NAFTA's tariff rate quotas, how they failed to protect Mexican hog farmers and how foreign-owned corporations were able to apply a two-sided strategy to take over more than one-third of domestic pork production while developing Mexico into a leading importer of U.S. pork products. The article also reviews why industrial animal farms-or confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs)-are unsustainable without considerable government support, why the CAFO model is even more unsustainable in emerging nations like Mexico, and the U.S. pork lobby actively opposes NAFTA reform.

Vesilind, whose expertise includes animals in agriculture, is available to discuss her NAFTA study and other animal law and policy issues at 802-831-1320 or

CONTACT: John Cramer, Associate Director of Media Relations
Office: 802.831.1106, cell: 540.798.7099, home: 802.649.2235,

Bookmark and Share