Billionaire real estate mogul Sam Zell has done a fair amount of business near the Mexican border and thinks the country is “going to do fine” despite President Trump’s plan to build a wall.
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“I think the Mexico-U.S. connection is far too strong for any shift in policy to have anything other than a short term impact,” said Zell during an appearance on FOX Business Network’s Mornings with Maria.
Zell opened a high-traffic bridge from San Diego, CA to Tijuana, Mexico last year and expects it to carry 1.8 million people this year.
Along with Zell’s own business interests, he notes the growing importance Mexico is playing in manufacturing.
“We used to talk about China being the manufacturing center of the U.S., well Mexico has become the manufacturing center of the U.S. and frankly that’s a plus,” Zell said.
The U.S. is Mexico’s biggest export market, topping $290 billion a year and Mexico is the United States’ third-largest trading partner. It is estimated that 5 million American jobs depend on trade with Mexico.
Trump ran and won the U.S. election partly on the promise to build a wall spanning the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border. He has repeatedly said that Mexico will pay for it and has threatened to levy a 20% border adjustment tax on all goods coming from Mexico. These policies that have caused tensions in relations with Mexico.
Bids for Trump’s border wall are due this week.