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Enrique Arbelaez of XL Alliance interviews former Mexican President Vicente Fox following his speech at the Hispanic Retail 360 Summit in La Jolla, Calif., last month.
In his speech to more than 600 retailer, supplier and marketing executives, Fox called for an expansion of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) to keep North America competitive with the rising economies of Asia. Fox said, "We need a new NAFTA vision because no single nation by itself can succeed and be competitive while the rest of the world is forming blocs."
The former president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, Fox said Canada, the U.S. and Mexico must be aware of the current shift of markets, financial resources and political power from the West to the East. Fox, who worked in the private sector as a businessman as well as the political sector, didn't avoid controversy either -- repeating a call he's made before that legalizing drugs would end the drug war along the U.S.-Mexico border. "Prohibition doesn't work," he said.
Something else that doesn't work is walls. "I don't understand why this great country, which I love…decided to build walls. Walls divide, walls isolate and walls don't work. The Berlin Wall couldn't hold out freedom and the China Wall could not stop foreign invaders.
"Migration is the greatest asset the (U.S.) nation has. Migration has been the strength, power and energy that have made the country so successful."
The 2011 Hispanic Retail 360 Summit was produced by Stagnito Media, publisher of Convenience Store News and Progressive Grocer, and sponsored by PepsiCo.