Fox's Neoliberal Agenda

Tony Abdo aabdo at
Wed Aug 16 12:20:43 MDT 2000

This analysis at the end of The Globe & Mall article below, states that
politicians in Canada and The United States have supposedly only been
'noncommital' to Fox's proposals.     There is a small element of truth
in this assertion, but basically it is nonsense.

The kernel of truth is in the simple fact, that the majority of the
business communities in Canada and The US still do not know what the
Clinton Adminisration, and the multinationals, are driving for doing in
the decade ahead.     Ignorance is not the same as being noncommital.
There is no opposition in the business community, or their 2 parties, in
moving ahead along the lines Fox proposes.

The nonsense is that these are not proposals that The Genius of Vicente
Fox came along with independently.     And now he goes valiantly to the
gates of the Emperor in Washington, DC to state his case for all the
little guys.       This is the type of theater that Clinton has been
constructing to have on hand for the last months of the presidential
campaign, for several years now.    It is not spontaneous at all.

If Clinton had directly tried to move this updated NAFTA ahead by
proposing directly and publicly to his buddy Zedillo in Mexico, it would
have provoked mass Mexican Left resistance to a new onslaught of
imperialism being unleashed against Mexico.

Instead, Zedillo and Clinton arranged for the PRI to throw the election
to Fox, and now magically, we have the very same proposals being
presented as some sort of grand wave of new reform, now being pushed
hard against resistant imperialism by Mexico!

The European Union, that Fox mentions so often in his speeches, is the
model for what is being pushed for politically.     The United States/
Canada do not want to have its market in competition with the EU,
without expanding 'free trade' further into Latin America.

The overenthusiasm from the bubble economy has the American ruling
circles actually convinced, that they can now begin to assimilate part
of Latin America into what previously appeared to be an area limited to
the English speaking.     US capitalism feels like superman at this
point.     Oh how sweet is such innocent overconfidence.

Part of this psychology comes from the Sunbelt.      We have seen in the
last presidential campaigns, candidates put forward almost exclusively
from home territories that have no unions, or real Left resistance.
There is a tendency amongst this elite, to see the whole world as their
own oyster, just like back at home, in Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

So they are ready to step forth boldly into new territory.    US and
Canada see the need to compete against the European Union and maintain
supremacy as primary.    It should be our job to make sure that they get
burned as they march South into Latin America.

Protesters are already fighting the WTO, World Bank, and the OAS,
amongst other establshment structures.     The net result so far, is for
the elite to push even harder for the policies they favor, and to use
increasingly brutal measures to restrain the opposition.

It is important that US activists learn about linking up with Latin
American activists, since we most definitely have a common enemy.
The tie to build mutual contacts with Mexican activists is now.      And
it is also time to build an antiwar movement to get the US Out of

Tony Abdo

Fox seeks closer North American ties
Mexican leader will request billions in
investment as first step toward a common market

The Globe and Mail
Wednesday, August 16, 2000
Mexico City -- Mexican president-elect Vicente Fox wants to move fast to
draw North America closer together, starting with a request that Canada
and the United States inject billions of dollars into a development fund
for his growing country.
Days before his first official visit to Canada and the United States,
Mr. Fox explained his vision for a common North American market, where
people, companies, money, goods and services could travel freely
throughout North America. The three countries also would adopt a common
currency and a common monetary policy, all within 30 years.

"The first step should be to sit down and think, decide where we want to
be in the year 2030; where we three countries want to be," he said in an
interview yesterday.

"How we want to see the relationship then, specifically how we want to
see Mexico. Because Mexico, let's face it, it's way, way, way behind
United States and Canada," he told The Globe and Mail.

If the huge gap in wealth and wages between Mexico and its two
neighbours persists, Mr. Fox said, the trilateral relationship will only
get worse and hurt all three countries.

"Either we become real partners, real friends and real neighbours with
equal degrees of development, with convergence in our economies, or the
situation, specifically the border between the United States and Mexico,
will worsen. The narco-trafficking will not be eliminated. The migration
problem will still be there."

Leaders from the three countries need to come up with a common,
long-term vision that will bring Mexico to a level of wealth and
development on a par with its northern neighbours, he continued.

"And I know that maybe for the United States and Canada, this is not
important. But to us in Mexico, it's key. It's crucial. And yes, we are
requesting solidarity. We are requesting friendship. And we are
requesting very specific things."

In particular, Canada and the United States should consider beefing up a
development bank for Mexico, which already exists under the North
American free-trade agreement. The bank has a capital base of about
$1-billion (U.S.), but it needs at least $10-billion to be effective,
Mr. Fox insisted.

In 1998, Mexico's gross domestic product per capita, a key measure of
wealth, was $7,704 (U.S.), compared to $23,582 in Canada and $29,605 in
United States, according to the United Nations human-development report.

But Mexico is growing fast; economists predict economic growth of as
much as 7 per cent this year compared to 4.5 per cent in Canada and 4.9
per cent in the United States.

Mr. Fox, who won Mexico's highest office in an election on July 2, will
be the first president in 71 years from outside the Institutional
Revolutionary Party. He takes office in December.

Mr. Fox is billing his trip north (Canada today and tomorrow, followed
by Washington) as a non-working, get-to-know-you visit to Prime Minister
Jean Chrétien and President Bill Clinton.

But it's clear he already means business.
During the wide-ranging interview, Mr. Fox frequently referred to the
European Union as a model for North America. The EU, he points out, has
set up a $35-billion fund to bring new, underdeveloped members of the
union up to the same economic level as the rest of the EU."I would use
the wisdom of the European Community. They built up what they have today
over 40 years."

While Mr. Fox will no doubt receive a warm welcome next week, his idea
for economic integration will probably only meet a polite response.
Politicians from both countries have been noncommittal to Mr. Fox's plan
so far.

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