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Economist Salinas-Leon on How Free Trade Fuels Prosperity on Both Sides of the Border

Nick Gillespie and Alexis Garcia - Reason
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August 3, 2017
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"The intellectual backwardness of many of Trump's trade advisors contrasts dramatically with some of the very good advice he's gotten in terms of deregulation," says Roberto Salinas-León, president of the Mexico Business Forum and adjunct scholar at the CATO Institute. "Talking about your second most important trading partner in that [derogatory] vein - that's not the 'art of the deal.' That's just very bad business."

Salinas-León, an expert on trade and monetary policy, says that if Trump ends the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it would decimate jobs on both sides of the border.

"Does Indiana depend on jobs because of its trade with Mexico? Does Ohio? Texas? You want to shut down NAFTA? That turns Texas into a Democratic state overnight."

Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with Salinas-León at Freedom Fest in Las Vegas to discuss NAFTA's economic impact, his heated confrontation with Trump at Freedom Fest 2015, and how the president's anti-Mexico rhetoric propelled leftist presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador ("a rabid, primitive, vitriolic, populist") to the top of the polls.

Read the transcript at Reason

Related: Mexico Says It's Willing to Talk on Sensitive NAFTA Issues (Associated Press)

Related: 'Canada Is No Problem' in NAFTA, Trump Tells Mexican President in Leaked Transcript (BNN)


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