It's The Economy, Stupid- Part 2

Tony Abdo aabdo at
Thu Aug 24 16:59:47 MDT 2000

Fox in United States meeting with Gore, Clinton and Bush
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Vice President Al Gore met Thursday with Mexican
president-elect Vicente Fox, calling him a man with "big ideas, very
large ideas" for transforming cross-border relations.
Gore made the comment as the strolled with Fox on the grounds of U.S.
Naval Observatory, where Gore maintains his official residence.

Reporters also heard Gore calling for the creation of "a community of
North American democracy" but there was no elaboration.

Fox is using his two-day U.S. visit to outline his vision for a freer
flow of people and goods across the border.

After his meeting with Gore, Fox planned an Oval Office visit with
President Clinton and a luncheon with Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright. He will meet with Gov. George W. Bush in Dallas on Friday.
Fox's proposal for an eventual opening of borders with United States has
been greeted with skepticism by U.S. business and labor groups, but
Clinton said Wednesday he wants to hear more before making a judgment.

"The devil is always in the details here, so I want to talk to him about
it and see what he has in mind," Clinton said.

In Canada on Wednesday, Fox spoke to Prime Minister Jean Chretien about
his goal of an integrated North America modeled in some respects after
the European Union.     Chretien said he doesn't think it is feasible.

"We cannot establish relations between Canada, the United States, and
Mexico in the same type of situation as in Europe," he said, adding that
Canada wanted to maintain its own currency and refused to consider a
common currency like the euro.

Fox said his goal was to promote prosperity, no matter the mechanism.
"We are not proposing a common currency here," he said. "We don't think
that would work. We're proposing to work together – work on human
development, economic development – to narrow the differences."

Despite reservations about his border proposals, Fox has won admiring
comments from many Americans for having defeated the party that has run
Mexico for more than 70 years.

They include some of Mexico's fiercest critics, such as Senate Foreign
Relations Committee chairman Jesse Helms, R-N.C., and Thomas
Constantine, a former director of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Constantine said Wednesday he is impressed with Fox's willingness to
fight corruption and organized crime in Mexico.
"I tend to be optimistic that an individual can change the dynamics of a
situation," he said.

Fox vows to open up Mexico energy sector by year-end
24 Aug 2000 21:36

WASHINGTON, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Mexico's president-elect Vicente Fox
vowed on Thursday to open up foreign investment opportunities in his
country's petrochemicals and power generation sectors by year-end.

"We are working on opening for private investment areas of electricity
generation and petrochemicals," he told a news conference during a visit
to Washington.
Mexican law bars private control of petrochemical companies by
stipulating that the government must hold 51 percent.
But Fox said he will be working to overturn the restriction with the
Mexican Congress when it sits in September.
Fox would also move to lift requirements in the electricity sector, such
as the obligation to supply the state-run power sector, which have held
up investment in power plants.

"We hope we can attain this between now and the end of the year," he
said after visiting the White House.

Fox stressed his proposals do not contemplate privatization of the
state-run electricity sector or the oil company Pemex, which are
protected by the constitution, a highly sensitive political issue in

Fox, a former Coca-Cola executive who takes office on Dec. 1, said he
hopes to present Congress with a fiscal reform bill by the end of the

He vowed to stamp out corruption and streamline government to make it
more efficient and less costly.

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