Op-ed: Mexico Takes Deserved Bows (and Some Boos) at the World Economic Forum in Puerto Vallarta

Time, 4/18/12

Argentine President Cristina Fernández did Mexican President Felipe Calderón a big favor this week when, on April 16, she expropriated the Argentine holdings of Spanish oil giant Repsol.

The move shocked global capitalists and made Mexico, Latin America’s second-largest economy ahead of Argentina, look all the more attractive as a destination for foreign investment (even though Mexico’s own oil industry is entirely state owned).

Even better news for Calderon was that Fernández’s Confiscation came just in time for his host address the next day to the World Economic Forum’s Latin America meeting in Puerto Vallarta. “We must defeat protectionist temptations,” said Calderón, whose words stroked the Forum’s international business leaders as softly as the Pacific breezes outside the convention center. “We need more foreign investment, not less.”

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