Former Mexico President Calderon Tells SLC Trade Conference Betting on Trade Paid Off

May 21, 2014

Felipe Calderon, Former President of Mexico, addresses full house at the Marriott City Creek in Salt Lake City.
Felipe Calderon, Former President of Mexico, addresses full house at the Marriott City Creek in Salt Lake City.
Credit Bob Nelson

Former President of Mexico Felipe Calderon delivered the keynote address Wednesday at the Zions Bank 13th Annual Trade and Business Conference. Calderon served as President from 2006-2012 during what he calls the worst economic crisis in human memory. He recalled the saying; when the United States gets a cold, Mexico gets pneumonia.

“Imagine what happened to a country that depends so much on the exports to the United States. When the consumer in the United State started to stop to buy products, either vehicles, home computers, mobile phones, or a lot products, goods, and services made in Mexico," says Caldron. "The economy went down dramatically.”

Calderon says among the many tough reforms he helped implement was to increase the size of government to minimize the impact of the recession.

Zions Bank International Banking Region Manager Mark Garfield looks on as a local mariachi band plays for crowd including Former Mexico President Felipe Calderon.
Zions Bank International Banking Region Manager Mark Garfield looks on as a local mariachi band plays for crowd including Former Mexico President Felipe Calderon.
Credit Bob Nelson

“We needed to reduce the deficit and we followed a very old recipe, if I can say that. Increase your revenue and reduce your expenditures, unfortunately in that case, including some taxes," Calderon says. "It was painful in political terms, but it was completely necessary in order to save the Mexican economy.” 

Calderon says the government bet on trade soon after the recession bottomed out by lowering tariffs on average up to 60 percent. He says Mexico now competes with the top world economies in the automotive and electronics industries.