Vicente Fox warned today that unless this country works closer with Mexico -- and recognizes the benefits of immigrant labor -- it will end up playing second fiddle to China.
The former Mexican president detailed the trade that already takes place between the two countries. But he said leaders need to be aware of a threat on the horizon.
"The threat is this so-called power shift from the West to the East," Fox said. "Those nations in the East are getting ready and prepared to lead. The forecast is no more than 10-12 years from now the Chinese economy will be larger than the U.S. economy."
And that, Fox said, has consequences beyond finance, as these Eastern countries may have very different concepts of how to exercise their leadership.
"We have our values in the West that we share, as I said. So we all on this continent, especially North America, we must get ready to meet the challenge," he said.
Fox said if the West, wants to keep its edge, there needs to be a recognition that Mexicans in the United States, legal and otherwise, contribute to the economy of both countries.
Otherwise we will keep losing the jobs to the East." the former Mexican President added. "If we don't understand what competitiveness, what productivity means, we're not going to be able to meet that challenge that is ahead of us."