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Former president of Mexico criticizes Trump, praises NAFTA in NU speech (North by Northwestern)

October 23, 2018

By Brianna Bilter, Julio Vazquez

From the article:

Northwestern University hosted former president of Mexico Vicente Fox Tuesday evening for the 29th annual Leopold Lecture. Fox served as president of Mexico from 2000-2006. A member of the National Action Party, he ran on a platform geared toward economic reform and ending government corruption. His election ended the 71-year reign of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

One of Fox’s central points in his lecture was the impact of NAFTA. He noted that the agreement has fostered the trade of over a trillion U.S. dollars per year among its constituents, the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Fox stated that the income gap between the U.S. and Mexico has shrunk from a 12:1 ratio to a 5:1 ratio since NAFTA’s implementation, which he said reduces incentives to migrate to the U.S. He predicted that this gap will close to a 1:1 ratio in the next 25 years. This figure is disputed by the Center for Global Development, which found in 2015 that the wage gap between the two countries has grown under NAFTA.

Regardless, Fox does not want Mexico’s role in the North American economy to be understated. He emphasized Mexico’s prominence in the automobile and produce industries.

“We are not the little guy in the backyard. We do our share,” Fox said.

Read the full article here.


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Co-Director of Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy and Senior Fellow