How will the presidential succession affect the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA]?
The opening of the economy created a big chunk of losers — traditional agriculture, the public sector that was privatized, small and middle-sized industry that disappeared or was left in shaky condition, and workers who depended on it. But by now they are not very important. They lost the power they used to have. And NAFTA has created a large chunk of winners — in regional terms, the growth industries in the north and in central states like Aguascalientes and Guanajuato. That will make it very difficult for anyone who takes power to reverse NAFTA. Q: Neo-liberalism has become a bad word, you observed, because of the 1995 economic crunch. How will that affect the future of free-market reforms? A: Adopting new policies is very difficult — for example, trying to sell the [state-run] electricity sector. However, the government is happily selling airports without anyone opposing it. For such policies already in place, even though they haven’t been fulfilled, there is no major opposition.