Vicente Fox - Former Mexico President, 2000-2006 HARDtalk

Vicente Fox - Former Mexico President, 2000-2006

Stephen Sackur speaks to former Mexico president Vicente Fox, whose strongly worded Twitter responses to Donald Trump have caused a storm on social media.

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Welcome to HARDtalk. I am Stephen Sackur. Donald Trump has wasted


little time delivering on his signature campaign promises. He has


already ordered the building of "that wall." The US Congress will


find it, but ultimately, Donald Trump says Mexico will pay. My guest


today is the former Mexican president Vicente Fox whose


expletive filled tweets to Donald Trump have caused a storm on social


media. Can Mexico afford to tango with Donald Trump?


Vicente Fox in Mexico, welcome to HARDtalk what a pleasure. Hello,


Europe, hello London, fellow Briton. Well, hello to you. Here is a


question, how badly does Mexico need a good working relationship with any


US president? I think a good relationship is always important and


is strategic for any nation and any economy when you were dealing with


the most powerful, the largest economic, marketing the world. So it


is important. Very important. But sometimes you cannot take your own


decisions. All of a sudden appears Donald Trump. He is disrupting


everything, and not for the better, but for the worse, with Europe, with


Mexico, with Latin America, with the Muslim world, with China. He is


willing to fight with everybody. He will never win against the world.


Yeah, but he has only been in office for two weeks. And you have taken


the decision many months ago when he was still on the campaign trail to


antagonise him and take him on as much as you can. And in so far as


you are an extraordinarily powerful voice in Mexico, a former president,


do you think that was wise? Well, we have three issues that have to do


with Mexico and the United States and their relationship. Start with


the wall. He can build as many walls as he wants, he can enclose that


little nation behind four walls because of fear and because of his


crazy ideas, but what he will never ever attain is Mexico paying for the


wall. That is a different thing. That has to do with sovereignty,


that has to do with dignity, that has to do with pride. So, President


Enrique Pena Nieto has stated very clearly on the name of 120 million


Mexicans, we are not paying for that stupid wall that he wants to build.


Builder did you want with US taxpayer money. That is the only


source of money he might get. -- build it if you want. He is not even


sure he will get it because many Republicans do not agree with him.


Many state governments do not agree with him. Because all of them lived


out of the trading that we have through Nafta. Mexico and the United


States. Let me. Right there. That is a very powerful statement that you


have just made. They are all ways to make Mexico pay. He has to get the


wall built with Congress funds, but he will put tariffs are new, he said


20% may be. He will charge you more to send remittances back home. He


will find ways to make the Mexican people pay for his wall. Let me tell


you. Every action has a reaction. If he taxes imports to the United


States coming from Mexico, we will tax exports of the United States to


Mexico. As you know, we have an even situation on trading. We sell every


year to the United States was to 300 billion US dollars' worth of goods


and products. And they sell to Mexico almost the equivalent amount.


So nobody will win in a trade war. Everybody will lose, starting with


the US consumer, that will have to pay 20% more for the car he is


buying, 20% more for the guacamole that he is buying, 20% more for the


tequila that he is buying... I dare say that Americans can live with a


little less guacamole and a little less tequila. But the fact is your


economy is per capita more dependent on your trading relationship with


the United States than the United States is on you. So when it comes


down to that raw things about leverage, the US has the leverage,


you don't. You are right. We all lose. But look at this We have a


trade agreement with Europe. We have a trade agreement with Britain, is


leading with the European Union. If Britain gets out, still we can put


together a trade agreement. And let me tell you, the European Union


market is 500 million people. The US market is 300 million people. The


gross product of the union, the European Union, altogether is larger


than the gross product of the United States. So we just have to look to


outside. We have a trade agreement with Asia, we have a trade agreement


with Latin America are. So many Mexico is the economy that has more


trade agreements than anyone else. We don't want to lose the market of


the United States. But if this crazy died, -- guy, Trump, goes for his


will, not those of the Americans, he will sacrifice the well-being of


Americans. The geography of this is simple. You and the United States


will be locked together forever whether you like it or not. I come


back to the theme of political wisdom. Is it wise for you to use


those words you have outlined, and that other words, the "F" word,


would you have used about your refusal to pay for the wall, there


is something about using the appropriate tone and establishing a


dialogue. It seems to me that you read your attitude to Donald Trump


are making dialogue impossible. -- with. Yes. If he wants to respect,


he has to start respecting others. He has not shown that. And my worry


is that President Pena does not have enough courage to stand against him


like we did when we nationalised the oil 100 years ago. Like Mexico did


when we were invaded by their army. He is saying, he proposed to Pena,


that he is willing to send the US Army. Go to hell, Trump. Mexico does


not admit in its territory by Constitution any armies from


anywhere in the world. Use your army, Donald Trump, tothe


consumption of drugs, to stop drugs circulating all over the United


States every day. In every single corner of the United States there is


drug consumption. And he complains about Mexico. Why doesn't he stopped


drug -- stop drugs circulating in his own country? Where is the DEA,


the FBI, the CIA? We will get to that. One more word about Donald


Trump. You said this to a TV network in relation to Donald Trump a few


days ago. When I saw today's gathering of the Republican Party in


their retreat with Donald Trump in the middle, it reminded me of Hitler


addressing the Nazi Party. That is extreme language. Are you saying


that apart from anything else, Donald Trump is an out and out races


when it comes to Mexicans and Mexico? Absolutely is. -- racist.


Let us not laying him, let us blame his followers, like the Nazi party.


-- blame. The Republican Party, they follow him blindly. They do not


question him. Vicente Fox, you cannot bandy around this word


lightly. We know what they were responsible for in the 1930s and


40s. Donald Trump, the many millions that elected him to the office of


the United States, you cannot, surely, you cannot label them Nazis.


Excuse me. Excuse me. Congressmen, a Member of Parliament in England,


they are elected by people to serve the people in any democracy, not


deserve his political party. That is what I think is blind on the side of


Congress, men and senators of the Republican Party in the United


States. You do not follow a false prophet when he is taking you to the


desert. You think on your own and you make your own free decisions.


And that is what I was referring to in my comment. Just... I want to


move on. I want to think specifically now about the


immigration issue which of course Donald Trump campaigned on and one


millions of votes on securing the US border. We have talked about the


wall he wants to build, but isn't there a fundamental hypocrisy in


Mexico. When you criticised his plan to secure America's border with


Mexico, you in your country have consistently under your leadership


and other presidents as well failed to secure your southern border, with


the result that hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans from


Central America come into Mexico, many of them wanting to get into the


United States, and exacerbating the immigration problem. It is tiny


sorted out your own water security. False, false, and true statements


you are mentioning. Let me go one by one. Number one, we want a secure


border. We Mexicans want a secure border, the same as the United


States and their citizens. But not the way he is trying to do it. The


wall, let him build whatever wall he wants the. If he wants to construct


a useless wall like the Chinese people did against their enemies,


the Mongols, it did not work. They jumped the wall, they invader China,


they conquered China. It happened very close to Britain. That war


could not retain anybody away from freedom. That had to be torn down.


If he wants to build a wall, it is already there are. But today we do


not use the stick, we use intelligence, we use wisdom, we use


negotiation, we use, like you say, speaking to each other. But when he


uses a stick like the old US empire, imposing their will in the world,


putting in and taking out governments, that cannot be the


future. I understand. You have pretty Donald Trump during this


interview, but I am asking you to critique yourself. -- critiqued. Let


us look to the south. One of the reasons the migration problem is so


profound is because you guys are now quoting the Washington office of


Latin American studies. They are saying that your hardline policies


on migration issues in the south of your country have risen consistently


ineffective in deterring immigration. -- proven. They have


violated human rights and have brought about abuse and violence.


That is on you and Mexico. It is nothing to do with Donald Trump in


the United States. will ship let me criticise myself and


criticise Mexico. We have compassion. Like Europe is showing


today. When there are people suffering, when there are people


running away from violence, like the Syrians, you use your compassion and


share it with others. That is the way we think in Mexico. We do not


use a stick. We are not only up to money and economic growth. We


consider the human side of people because of humanity, and listen. He


just said, the world does not belong, it belongs to she manatee,


it is not belong to Trump and United States. Nations belong to citizens.


Our border in the south is not what it should be because there is


hunger, there is poverty. There are also abuses, systemic abuses carried


out by your security forces and there is corruption. Calls. All that


comes from Maureen Meyer who has researched this from the Washington


office of Latin America. Mexico has a problem, would you agree? If we


have a problem, we have to correct them. But that does not give Trump


the right to intervene in our internal public policies. That does


not give him the right to treat inhumanely most people from anywhere


of the world. Mexico has to correct, yes, the problem of drugs and


violence and we are going to legalise drug consumption so that we


take away the money from the cartels. By the way, money that


comes from the United States consumption. Number two, we have to


move the economy, to recreate jobs, to create opportunities which we are


doing now. In my part of Mexico, we are full employment right now, full


employment and salary is going up so we are doing our work. It's not as


we wish, we wish we could do more but again, I think it is, it's a


threat that we have and it's a dangerous threat. You have talked


about the drugs problem quite a lot in this interview so let's get down


into it in specifics right now. I've been in your country before and came


not so long ago, quite a number of years ago now, to interview


President Calderon. He declared a total and complete war on the


cartels and the drug lords. That failed. We have president Pena Nieto


who has taken a different approach and that has failed as well. We have


seen the violence rise again. 90% of all the drugs, serious drugs that


which United States go through Mexico are produced in Mexico


because production in your country is on the rise as well. Everything


that you have done, and am talking about you yourself and your


successors, has completely failed to stop the flow of drugs from your


country into the United States and again, that is new. Yes. Yes, yes.


That is why we will legalise, same as United States is doing, because


we are fighting a war against drugs which is not ours. I ask you and I


ask Trump and I ask American people, what happens once those words of


drugs across the border? Where are the US authorities? Where is the


army? They do the consumption, they are happy consuming and we pay in


blood. 160,000 kids have died on President Calderon's Administration


and on Pena Nieto's administration. 160,000 kids. They did not have


criminality in their genes. And yet they joined the cartels. That is a


tragedy, Mr Fox. It is a tragedy. So do you think legalising cocaine and


heroin and methamphetamines, all of which are now manufactured in


Mexico, is going to solve the problem? Take away the manufacturing


in Mexico. Most of them comes from the south in transit to the north.


But some is now being made in Mexico. Anyway, anyway let's discuss


the issue. Portugal legalise all drugs and it's working. The State of


Colorado and Washington and California, they have legalised


marijuana consumption. The State of Israel is now producing marijuana


and claiming they have the best marijuana in the world and they


are... We're not talking marijuana here. We're not talking here. I am


full legalisation of all drugs. We human beings should be responsible


for our own health and that is why the world has come to accept


abortion and marriages of different sexes because we are and have to be


responsible for our own behaviour. The State, governments, will never


solve that problem from us. It is a promise that has never been complied


with. 40 years ago, President Nixon launched the global war on drugs.


What happened? Total failure. Consumption goes up and up and yes,


we have to correct things in Mexico. We are not happy with what we have


but again, that doesn't give Trump the possibility for the prerogative


or speaking so many stupid things during modern single day. -- during


one single day. I have to turn to Mexican politics. President Pena


Nieto has an approval rating of 12%, deeply, deeply unpopular. It looks


like the most convincing candidate to take the presidency may be Mr


Obrador. You have had a long experience with him. You try to stop


him running for president in 2006. He almost won. He looks like the


populist leftist who could learn something from Trump and make


Mexican politics much more populist. Are you worried about that?


Absolutely, yes. Please. We do not want Obrador here. We could see Hugo


Chavez, Castro, the rest of the gang here in Latin America. Populism


doesn't work. But Mr Fox, my point is, your language on Trump, you are


talking the same sort of populism that Obrador is talking. Pena Nieto


is cautious to criticise Trump. The only people in Mexico who go up to


Trump are you and Obrador so you are playing into his hands. I have


tweets about 28 million people so people are listening. People are


coming out to the streets, people are manifesting themselves. It is


not me. It is the people that are decent, that work hard, but are


trying to build a future that understand how trade and government


works, that the stupid war on drugs, that we need to do a lot of things


but Lopez Obrador is not the solution to Mexico's problems. He


will get us into the same disorder that is happening. They don't have


food to eat Right now. That is populism. That is demagoguery. That


is the extreme left. And I hope Britain, unfortunately the United


States now moved into populism, and false promises with this false


prophet that is Trump. I want for my country, the good governance with


honesty, with honour ability, with the capacity and let's see what


Mexican people decide, is on their hands to decide. Isn't the bottom


line in all of this conversation that you may wish to Trump weren't


in power but the fact is, the use and the United States, in its


relationship with Mexico, does hold pretty much all the cards. So what


you say on Twitter and everything else, the Mexican government will


have to find a practical way of working with Trump? Sure. Sure,


that's a conclusion that is mistaken. The plans of Ford, the


motor Co, Chrysler and GM are here in Mexico. They are not going to


take them away. If they want a car, let them do. Ford has decided not to


build a new plant in Mexico. You know that. Ford has decided to


cancel its plans for a new plant in Mexico. I know that. I know, and


they are getting now a boycott. They are not selling the amount of cars


they used to be selling in Mexico. Governments have cancelled orders,


consumers have cancelled orders for Ford Motor Company survey the better


think about what they win and lose by following a false prophet. They


are going to be losing a lot of money and a lot of markets in the


world if they keep listening and following blindly Donald Trump.


Vicente Fox, we had to end there but I thank you very much for joining me


from central Mexico, thank you very much indeed. Stephen, a pleasure.


Here is your home and the home of every Briton. Thank you.


Well, for some of us on Tuesday it felt quite springlike.


For others, though, it was distinctly wintry,


with some snow up over the higher ground of Scotland in particular.


Stephen Sackur speaks to former Mexico president Vicente Fox, whose strongly worded Twitter responses to Donald Trump have caused a storm on social media. The new US president has wasted little time delivering on his signature campaign promises. He has already ordered the construction of the contentious wall along the US-Mexican border. The US congress will fund it but, ultimately, Mr Trump says, Mexico must pay for it. Can Mexico afford to provoke the new US administration?