After World War II, the Cold War created strong competition from Europe and Asia. The solution was to form the most powerful trading bloc in the world by uniting the countries of the Organization of American States in a plan of hemispheric trade. The OAS includes the U.S., Canada and 33 members south of our border.
In 1994, a plan was formalized known as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). The first step was supposed to be the streamlining and combining of the highway and railroad systems of the U.S., Canada and Mexico. However, gridlock developed based on the completely false claim that NAFTA was a job killer bringing a flood of Latino workers.
The e-verify laws would have completely eliminated illegal workers but the employers defied those laws because they wanted more illegal workers as a means of avoiding their own payment of taxes. This caused the accumulation of 11 million undocumented workers (plus at least 25 million dependents equals more than 35 million undocumented residents) with established homes in the U.S.
U.S. billionaire investors used the whole situation as a cover-up of the huge transfer of industries to China. This became a big issue in the Obama-Romney presidential election (Bain Capital).
The NAFTA project is now dead and jobs have disappeared even more rapidly.
The Afghanistan and Iraq wars caused the U.S. to continue ignoring Latin America that was further alienated by the fact that Congress could not produce comprehensive immigration reform. The only action has been to advance the completion of the Impenetrable Mexican Border to block immigration. Unfortunately, it also creates further destruction of hemispheric trade.
This intensified efforts of all OAS members to exclude the U.S. from the shared prosperity plan that they are developing with the Asian group. Some, like Brazil and Chile, are already enjoying more trade with Asia than with the U.S. Mexico is multiplying its Asian agreements.
U.S. leadership could have been restarted at the October 2013 Asian Trade Conference. President Obama was unable to attend because the U.S. was in complete economic shutdown.
That predicament did tremendous damage to our economic future. The declaration that came after the conference is “U.S. fiscal failure warrants the de-Americanization of global commerce.” The whole world has accepted that reality.