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NAFTA: Playing With a Volatile Substance


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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: CineFocus
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 55 mins
Country of Origin: Canada
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 1992
Available in French: No

Hosted by Eric Peterson (Corner Gas, Street Legal), this one-hour investigative documentary examines the debate surrounding the 1993 signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Shot in Mexico and Canada, the documentary interviews impassioned workers from Canada, the United States and Mexico, international economists, union leaders and cultural critics, including Mexican opposition leader Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, Council of Canadians’ Maude Barlow, and Business Council on National Issues' Tomas D'Aquino.

Heading into the 2008 Presidential election, the documentary raises question, concern and points of pause that are as relevant to the North American economy today as they were in 1993, when NAFTA was a key election issue in Canada. At the time, workers in all three countries were fearful of the implications of such an agreement for their job security, wages, workplace safety and their governments’ abilities to regulate environmental protection, food security, social programs and economic equity.

Will NAFTA be the rising tide to lift all boats? Will it lead to a deepening divide been the rich and poor? Who stands to benefit from this agreement? And, what effect will it have on our lives, communities and countries? These are the questions, NAFTA: Playing With a Volatile Substance investigates.