Canadian wages”. Since the effect of NAFTA and maquiladoras the top ten percent of

households increased in their annual income, as opposed to the ninety percent who have lost

some income or have seen no change. In fact, income inequality is the result of no government

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support and high population growth rates throughout the nation. Government funded programs

like Medicaid, WIC, and Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program are amongst some of

the government units that provide welfare to Mexican citizens. However in a study by Victor

Gimenez and his fellow contributors, which involved a “two-level data envelopment analysis

model” that indicated only five of the thirty-two units funded by the Mexican government were

generating efficient welfare and reducing poverty. On the other hand, the rest of the units need to

“increase their welfare levels” and most importantly reduce a lack inequity in the sectors of

education and income. For this reason, maquiladoras limit the opportunity for an employee to

further grow in their expertise as they are hired to work in the assembly lines with no prior

knowledge or previous experience. According to Sandra Polaski, she mentions the stake at which

the skills of the working class are overlooked:

“The export manufacturing model in Mexico has also failed to generate much growth in

jobs at the high-skills end of the spectrum, in areas such as research, engineering, design,

and accounting. One study of the skills component of manufacturing jobs

in Mexico found that in 2000, the proportion of skilled labor in the manufacturing sector

was only 9.9 percent. The skilled labor component in manufacturing was actually less

than the average share of skilled labor in the overall economy, 13.9 percent.”

In this case, the maquiladoras are a way for companies to undermine the self-confidence and

deflate any enthusiasm for promotions or increased wages of its employees by the unequal social

stability and political cohesion. Mexico should strengthen its institutions and public policies that

affect the wage outcomes. The labor standards enlisted in NAFTA have failed to improve labor

rights in Mexico as the Mexican government fears that if it enacts tougher labor laws, then it will

risk lowering manufacturing revenue. Additionally, if any of the labor principles listed in the

agreement are violated, the government entitles “soft mechanisms” that are intergovernmental

conferences and committees that are said to investigate the violations. Afterwards, a member of

state will report on the claim and allow the company to go unharmed without enforcing the labor

principles, thus it leaves many employees frustrated and discouraged to go against the larger

corporations (Flores). Recently, the Trump administration wanted to lower the trade deficit and

eliminate unfair subsidies by renegotiating the terms under NAFTA. The treaty is set to still be

debated through March 2018, as the three countries determine whether the maquiladora program

shall end or enforce new labor rights to protect worker.

The rapid expansion of the maquilladoras along the border has resulted in the low quality

of life for women in harsh working conditions and health consequences.  Working conditions are

constantly changing in response to economic cycles, for instance in the Lagunera region of

northern Mexico the capital became known as “blue jeans capital” when garment companies

moved from Los Angeles to Gomez Palacio. The company opened over 75,000 jobs offering

better working conditions and wages, but in the economic recession of 2001 there were over

35,000 jobs lost, “salaries went down and working conditions were generally deteriorated”

(Dominguez). Bernie Sanders took a trip with other members of Congress, to visit the border

cities along the U.S. and Mexico border to assess the effects of NAFTA on the maquiladora

industry. He met with a few textile workers that worked in a maquiladora that made blue jeans

and were advocating for “minimal rights on the job and to be compensated when they worker

overtime… and wanted protection against chemicals that colored their hands and hair”

(Sanders). When the time came for a negotiation between the textile workers and the company to

form an independent union, the workers were fired. This illustrates the struggle for employees

who were seen as criminals for trying to form and organize unions or religious workers who are

trying to protect women from being exploited into this business. Thus, the debate over whether 

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