Donald Trump could be good for Mexico, in the view of one of this country’s most successful businessmen.
Speaking at a forum in Mexico City, Carlos Slim said that what was not good about the United States president-elect was his discourse during the election campaign. But if Trump is successful, he predicted, it will be “fantastic” for Mexico.
Slim said he would be more worried if he were an American when he was interviewed by Bloomberg Television at the media company’s event, Mexico: The Year Ahead.
Closing the economy, he said, would be a bad thing. Trump runs the risk of losing the international leadership the United States has in technology.
“It’s going to be bad the first few months, but [Trump] is talking about expanding the economy of the United States. If they do grow at 4% and lower the taxes for the middle class, that would be fantastic for Mexico, as the American people would have greater purchasing power for the goods and services that Mexico exports.”
“The billion dollars he said he will invest in infrastructure is also good for Mexico. No Americans want to do those jobs and that means they’ll have Mexicans working on them,” he explained.
Nonetheless, Mexico’s success lies within its borders. “Mexico needs to turn back to Mexico,” Slim said. “Now we need to get back to Mexico and focus on the internal market and try to get back to the growth rates of 5%” as seen in the 1980s.
To reach those rates, Slim estimates that Mexico’s yearly domestic investment needs to be US $250 billion. That could be reached through a joint investment of private and public capital in infrastructure.
Due to the scant attention given to the internal market during the last 30 years, said the chairman of América Móvil, Telmex and Grupo Carso, the country has been unable to create employment, resulting in the migration of many Mexicans to the United States.
The businessman also believes that despite an exchange rate of 20 or 21 pesos per dollar, Mexico remains competitive for its inexpensive labor.
Days before the November 8 U.S. presidential election, Slim said at an event in Mexico City that Trump would destroy the American economy if he imposed tariffs of 35% on Mexican-manufactured goods. Such costs would lead to higher, disruptive prices, Slim said at the time.
Source: Mexico News Daily | Saturday, December 3, 2016