Following the visit to Mexico by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Mexican President Vicente Fox recently visited UTSA to present the keynote address at the Future Leaders Conference sponsored by the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute and the UTSA College of Business.
During his luncheon address to a crowd of more than 300 students, business leaders and elected officials in March, Fox discussed trade, leadership and immigration reform.
“The relationship between the United States and Mexico is complex and diverse,” said Fox, who was accompanied by his wife, Marta Sahagún. “We are friends, neighbors and partners who worked together to build a future of understanding, economic growth and a better life for our citizens through NAFTA.”
Fox said NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Alliance, was successful for Mexico. He noted that per capita income increased from $3,500 to $8,500 under the agreement. He also promoted his vision that the United States, Mexico and Canada should expand on their current trade agreements and develop a more cohesive relationship similar to the European Union.
“I believe that leaders are created in every single human being,” said Fox. “The challenge is building leaders with ethics ... leaders with moral values. The leadership of this great nation should go back to exercising compassionate leadership. I am optimistic that the new leadership in this nation provides a new hope for change between the United States and Mexico.”
Fox was president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006. His presidency addressed the issues of trade relations with the United States, the drug trade, governmental corruption and civil unrest.
“The call of action is in the hands of our leaders now,” he concluded in his speech. “I am not for open borders, but for an orderly immigration process. If we were wise enough, we would have solved the border issue by now.”
The conference was established in 2007 to bring together university student leaders and young professionals to discuss issues relating to the U.S. Hispanic community.
- Wendy Frost
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