Donald Trump

Mexican mogul Slim believes Trump’s success will be good for Mexico

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 December, 2016, 2:35am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 December, 2016, 2:35am

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim said on Thursday that if President-elect Donald Trump succeeds as US leader, it will be good news for Mexico, offering a more upbeat view on the outlook for a Trump government than he had previously.

Slim, a telecoms tycoon who spent several years as the world’s richest man, says he has never met Trump, but the two impresarios traded barbs during a bruising US campaign.

In October, Trump accused Slim, the top shareholder in The New York Times Co, of trying to help Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton through his stake, despite the fact that Slim’s shares have limited voting rights.

Then, a few days before the November 8 election, Slim said Trump’s plans could “destroy” the United States economy.

In his first public comments since the election, Slim said Trump’s potential success would also be Mexico’s, arguing that a 4 per cent US growth rate and the creation of millions of jobs would benefit Latin America’s second biggest economy.

“That’s fantastic for Mexico,” Slim said at an event held by US news agency Bloomberg in Mexico City.

As a result of Trump’s victory, Mexico should turn its attention inward and invest to spur growth, he added.

Still, Slim also warned the audience about the effects of some of the protectionist measures Trump has threatened to impose, including steep tariffs on Mexican-made goods.

“To put a tax of 35 per cent on our exports will be paid by (US) consumers,” he said while speaking on a panel alongside former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Trump has said he will renegotiate or tear up a key trade deal with Mexico as well as build a massive southern border wall. He has also attacked US companies investing south of the border, battering Mexico’s peso.

“It’s not easy to build a wall, anyway they build tunnels and most people arrive by plane,” Slim joked in comments before the election, referring to drug cartels digging tunnels beneath the border to smuggle their products into the United States.