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Volume5
MonthMay
Year2004
TitleThe Race to the Bottom: The United States' Influence on Mexican Labor Law Enforcement
Author(s)Jenna L. Acuff
First Page387
AbstractThere are several theories why the Mexican government has refused to enforce the stringent laws enumerated in the Mexican Constitution. For example, the North American Social Dumping Theory and Mexico's desire to retain foreign direct investment from foreign countries as a source of revenue and employment. This Comment seeks to analyze and expound on these theories and to develop two additional theories that have only been discussed in passing.

Part II begins with a brief look at the history of Mexican labor, including pre- and post-Revolution working conditions. Part III discusses Mexico's encouragement and protection of foreign direct investment and the impact that this has on how labor laws are enforced in Mexico. Part IV discusses the politics behind the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement and seeks to explain how the political pressures surrounding the passage of the agreement led to criticism and created downfalls in the drafting process. Part IV also summarizes some of NAFTA's main provisions and discusses how the weaknesses in this agreement, created between two developed and one developing nation, are adversely affecting the Mexican working class.

Part V concludes by exploring the political controversy surrounding the passage of the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation. It will be explained how the Agreement that was designed to save NAFTA from its downfalls of excluding labor and environmental issues from its text has failed to fulfill this objective. Part V also seeks to prove the failure of the NAALC to impose adequate means to influence Mexico to comply with its labor laws, evidenced by cases that have been brought against Mexico under the NAALC statutory regime.