SANTA MONICA, California — In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, former Mexican President Vicente Fox defended the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), calling it a “miracle.”
“NAFTA is a good thing. NAFTA is a miracle,” Fox stressed to Breitbart News on Wednesday afternoon while sitting inside the J.W. Marriott in Santa Monica, California. “It is because it’s a partnership of three economies. NAFTA has created the largest trade balance between two economies, which is Mexico and the United States. The largest in the world.”
The free trade agreement, negotiated by President George H.W. Bush and signed by President Bill Clinton, went into effect in 1994 between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, against widespread criticisms, mostly from the left.
Lately, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has been foremost among NAFTA’s critics. After winning the Indiana primary — and effectively securing the Republican presidential nomination — Tuesday night, Trump called NAFTA the worst trade deal “perhaps in the history of the world.”
Fox responded, telling Breitbart News:
Mexico buys, Mexico imports from United States products, goods and services in an amount larger than $750 billion U.S. dollars. This means millions, literally millions, of jobs to U.S. citizens and its estimated to be over an about 10 million. So, 10 million families in the United States live and have a job because of Mexican imports, so we’re a solid reliable partner to the United States. We’re not the little guy in the backyard.
“This is why I invite […] Donald Trump either to discuss with me these figures or to come to Mexico, that would be much better because he will see what happens,” Fox said. “He will see in Mexico it’s not only U.S. investment. It’s investment from Japan, from Korea, from China, from Brazil, from everyone in the world. And that investment comes to produce goods to provide the Mexican market. It’s not taking jobs away.”
While on the campaign trail, Trump has been critical of NAFTA, suggesting he would renegotiate the agreement.
“We will either renegotiate it or we will break it,” Trump stated during a previous interview, discussing how he plans to keep jobs in the U.S. instead of moving to Mexico. “Because, you know, every agreement has an end.”
“We need fair trade. Not free trade,” Trump added. “It’s got to be fair.”
Some analysts say more than 700,000 U.S. jobs were lost due to NAFTA.
But President Fox disagrees, charging the people who believe Trump’s rhetoric on trade are confused.
“These people are confused, those who believe Trump,” Fox told Breitbart News. “What people have to do here is when you’re looking for a job, you go to the community college, you go to the sources of knowledge and then you have skills and you get the job. Only those that don’t have skills, don’t get the jobs.”
He says that Mexicans are taking jobs away from the automobile industry for instance GM, Pfizer, Ford Motor Company went broke not more than five years ago and tax payers … paid for that money that the government gave to these corporations. They did not go broke not because of the government support. They did not go broke because they decided to become NAFTA corporations. And NAFTA corporations are those that nourish the competitiveness in the three economies.
Fox says NAFTA is why the corporations are now back to competitiveness.
The United States keeps the better jobs the most qualified and the higher salaries as designers, as technicians, as financial minds, as strategic planning minds of these three corporations. If this doesn’t happen, imagine those three corporations broke. Imagine those three corporations having or throwing out to the street hundreds of thousands of workers. So, what Trump has to understand is that’s the way the economy works.
“Manufacturing jobs are going to be lost anyway to the United States as we in Mexico lost manufacturing jobs that went down to Central America. That’s a reality,” Fox added.