In an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box," the outspoken former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quesada, reaffirmed that Mexico will not pay for the barrier wall President Donald Trump contemplates, "not now, not ever." Moreover, he called Trump a "child," while seeking to mock him as a corporate "CEO" rather than the president of Mexico's powerful northern neighbor. Fox himself was once a business executive, having worked for Coca Cola in Mexico before starting his political career as a state governor.
Fox said that Trump is not American "in his soul and his beliefs." He admitted, however, that he does not understand the current situation in the US.
Shortly thereafter, Trump tweeted a response. He wrote: "Mexico has taken advantage of the U.S. for long enough. Massive trade deficits and little help on the very weak border must change. Now!"
Fox said, "We get this CEO Trump coming in to sit in the presidential chair and keep acting as a child, as a CEO of his corporations, making deals he says, but he in reality is making mad everybody like it happened with Mexico." Fox added, "Fortunately, President Pena stood up, faced him and canceled the visit."
Today, the Mexican peso was relatively stable after its value in US dollars slipped yesterday after the exchange of words on Twitter between Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto over the former's border security plans. A scheduled bilateral meeting is now cancelled.
While the the notion of a 20% tax on goods imported from Mexico was floated by the White House yesterday, Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer later clarified that it is just one of several options being contemplated for funding the wall.
Fox contended in the interviewed that such a tax on Mexican imports would be passed on to American consumers, taxpayers, and businesses because of the vehicles that are manufactured in Mexico and shipped to the US. "Nobody wins on a trade war," Fox said. "This is what we have to make this kid understand, this CEO. It's not the same as business. Trading is a win/win situation. Why he does not speak about Canada? Canada exports more cars to the United States than Mexico. He doesn't say a word there. India is taking away 4½ million jobs from United States on the outsourcing to call centers, software manufacturing in India. And he doesn't say a word."
"We don't worry about trading. We have China to trade with, the second largest world economy," he said. "South America is doing a lot of trading with China. China will come and invest. And I'm sure Senor Trump would not like to see Chinese telecom towers on the border but that's what he's forcing us to do. The world is much, much larger than United States."