ABSTRACT

This chapter explores the extent to which US poultry exports to Mexico might be one of several forces leading to the economic displacement and emigration of Mexican poultry producers. It summarizes the scholarship on the origins of the migratory stream, the rise of poultry imports into Mexico, and the effect of these imports on the organization of the Mexican poultry industry. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has contributed to the restructuring of the poultry industry, and it has exacerbated the poverty of producers. NAFTA did more than create free trade; it rearranged the relationships within the triad of the Mexican government, Mexican farmers, and Mexico's trade partners. The pressure to abandon the countryside and relocate in urban areas or other countries is widespread. The inference that this fate also befell household poultry producers are derived from two propositions: the increasing vulnerability of certain social classes to the effects of NAFTA, and the changing nature of poultry production.