Billionaire Mexican businessman Carlos Slim said he sees good opportunities for revitalizing Mexico’s economy in President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promises. In an interview with Bloomberg News, when asked whether he was worried about a Trump administration, “I would be more worried if I were an American,” Slim said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “If you are going to close the economy, it is bad. He has the risk to lose the international leadership of the United States. You are the leaders in technology, but there are other countries moving there -- China, Israel -- and everyone wants to improve,” Slim said. “I think that is a main issue.”
Slim once derided Trump’s economic plans as “unreal” and added that a victory for Trump was “unlikely.” The feeling has been mutual: Trump has also criticized Slim.
Contradicting the general belief that says a Trump presidency will be bad if not terrible for Mexico, Slim told Bloomberg TV around a forum organized by Bloomberg News, "I don’t think so. It's different to be a candidate than to be president. He is talking about other issues that are very positive for Mexico. Like that he will create 25 million jobs, try to grow [the economy by] 4% and that investment in infrastructure will be $1 trillion in ten years. That's $100 billion a year. If it happens, at least in part, it would be very good for Mexico."
Next year, said Slim, “Mexico must turn to look toward Mexico. It’s necessary to address the internal market first.” And Trump’s election could be good news for Mexico, he said, if he carries through with his campaign promises. “If (the United States) really grows four percent, lowers taxes on the middle class, it would be fantastic for Mexico, so the United States population would have more capacity for consuming goods and services that Mexico exports to the country.”
Slim foresees growth for Mexico as great as five percent. This would require, however, an internal investment of $250 billion by partnering private and public sectors.
Trump’s plans for infrastructure development bodes well for Mexico, Slim said.
In the video of the interview, which took place in Mexico City and was posted by Bloomberg, Slim said Trump's fiscal plans will also be "good for Mexico," because the United States will need "many, many" Mexicans and Central Americans for "infrastructure jobs." Workers from Mexico and Central America are the best qualified for these jobs, he said.
As for diplomatic policy, Slim appeared to agree with Trump that renegotiating the 20-years+ NAFTA treaty is worthy discussing as long as both Mexico and the United States can agree. Canada is also a signatory.
Agreeing with the Obama administration and business leaders, former New York City mayor and billionaire, Michael Bloomberg said that NAFTA has been “enormously successful" for Mexico and the U.S. Bloomberg said he had spoken to Trump recently, presumably about NAFTA.
Slim remains the world’s richest man despite seeing his fortune plunge from $51.7 billion just before the election to $45.2 billion when markets closed three days later. According to Forbes Real Time Billionaire Ranking, it has risen to about $46.6 billion today.