Mexico City — The chairman of Mexichem SAB de CV, a resin producer and one of the world's largest suppliers of plastic pipes, has urged presidential candidate Donald Trump to reconsider his negative view of Mexico and to understand that Mexican and U.S. business interests are intertwined.
Juan Pablo del Valle Perochena added, however, that he was not holding his breath, writing on his Twitter account: “Color me skeptical.”
“I write to you as a Mexican and a businessman, who travels regularly between our countries, invests in your nation and in mine and truly believes that Mexico and the United States can only be great together,” he wrote Aug. 30, addressing his words to “Dear Mr. Trump.”
Republican Party candidate Trump has threatened to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement and expel millions of undocumented workers after accusing Mexico of sending criminals, including rapists and murderers, across the border into the United States. He has also vowed to erect a wall the length of the Mexico-U.S. border.
“As a Mexican who works in both the United States and Mexico, I don't bring crime and drugs,” Del Valle said. “I bring investment, create employment and produce a variety of inputs that are integral to US products, like solar panels, oil pipe linings, polyethylene pipes and pharmaceuticals.”
He said Mexichem has invested “more than $2 billion in the United States” in the past five years. “We operate in 13 states and provide thousands of good paying jobs to what I believe is the best work force in the global petrochemical and fluor derivative industry.”
Mexichem's story “is a North American story,” wrote Del Valle. “Like so many companies on both sides of the border, our operations in the United States depend on our operations in Mexico and vice versa.
“For example, we buy natural gas mostly in Texas and convert it into plastics in factories in the U.S. and Mexico, but also in Colombia and Germany. Actually that's how modern business works.”
Del Valle warned that “isolation, fear, insults and social divisiveness cannot possibly be a path to greatness for a president or a country.
“I hope that you would be capable of defining the kind of positive, innovative leadership that the United States needs and our times demand. But color me skeptical.”
Although not the first prominent Mexican publicly to criticize Trump for his attitude towards Mexico, Del Valle is probably the most important business leader to do so.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has compared Trump's bombast to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's, while former Mexican President Vicente Fox has used colorful language to insist that Mexico will never pay for “that [expletive omitted] wall.”
Trump is scheduled to visit Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto Aug. 31 in Mexico City.