Mexico's president calls NAFTA a success
Nicole Ziegler Dizon
Associated Press Writer
The North American Free-Trade Agreement is a success, Mexican President
Vicente Fox said this morning during the second day of his visit to Chicago.
Fox extolled the virtues of free trade and encouraged investment in Mexico
during a breakfast address to the U.S-Mexico Chamber of Commerce. He
spoke to more than 1,500 business leaders from Mexico and Illinois.
``The time has come to fully take advantage of the opportunity provided
globalization and NAFTA,'' Fox said.
Critics have attacked NAFTA, which took effect in 1994, for a rising trade
imbalance between the United States and Mexico.
Fox said Mexico is working to guarantee migrant workers security, stability
and legal status in the United States.
``Migration is a world phenomenon and is an issue of the 21st century,''
said. Fox said he is listening and working with President Bush to transform
immigration ``from a problem to an opportunity.''
However, Fox did not mention amnesty for Mexican workers living illegally
the United States. Bush is considering granting them legal status.
Fox's five-day tour of the United States to promote investment in the
Mexican economy and a more open U.S.-Mexico border was scheduled to
take him to Detroit later today after meetings with Gov. George Ryan and
Mayor Richard Daley, and a speech to the Economic Club of Chicago.
Sunday, Fox spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of Mexican-American
supporters in the heavily Hispanic Pilsen neighborhood. He urged them to
invest in Mexico and said Mexican citizens admire their struggles to find a
better life in the United States.
On Saturday, Fox was a keynote speaker at an information and technology
conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, and met with business leaders, including
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. Tuesday, Fox is scheduled to speak in