I agree with James Flanigan's conclusion in his column that the proposed U.S.-Mexico trade agreement would benefit the economy. I am concerned, however, about adverse effects upon African-Americans and other minorities who are overrepresented in blue-collar jobs and on the unemployment rolls.
Because the basic education available to a significant number of blacks is woefully inadequate, we stand to be left out of the very sector that will gain from a shifting of economic profit centers.
I am encouraged by the direction of President Bush's education initiative, particularly those elements that would have schools compete for students and facilitate increased private sector involvement.
It would be in everyone's best interest to link support for these two proposals in some fashion so that all Americans can benefit from the opportunities presented by the proposed trading bloc.