‘Walls divide. We must build bridges,’ Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico, says at Utah talk

SALT LAKE CITY — “Walls divide. We must build bridges,” Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico, told an enthusiastic audience at the University of Utah on Tuesday.

Throughout history, walls have not worked, said Fox, citing the Berlin Wall and the Great Wall of China as examples.

What’s needed at this time in the world are “bridges of understanding” and “compassion,” Fox said while speaking at Kingsbury Hall as a guest of the Tanner Humanities Center.

It is more productive for world leaders to help their neighbors prosper, Fox said.

Since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, for example, the earnings gap between Mexicans and Americans has been cut by half. That has reduced migration.

Since NAFTA, Mexico has become a world leader in manufacturing.

It has 11 “state-of-the-art” automobile manufacturing plants that produce American, European and Asian brands.

“Why? Because we are competitive,” said Fox, who was president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006.

Free trade under NAFTA has prospered. “What better for the U.S. than to have a successful neighbor to the south?” he said.

In May 2006, then-President Fox visited Utah after accepting the invitation of then-Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.

Fox addressed members of the Utah Legislature during the visit. It marked the first time a Mexican president visited the Beehive State. Fox’s four-day U.S. trip also included stops in Seattle, Los Angeles and Sacramento.

This story will be updated.

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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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