Bill Weld on Foreign Policy

Former Republican Governor; former Senate candidate (MA)


Focus on nuclear proliferation & the Sunni-Shia schism

Q: You've said the Islamic State is not a existential threat to the U.S.so what are the top three things you worry about?

JOHNSON: Well, that ISIS is a very real threat, but I think their days are numbered, they are regional.

WELD: My #1 would be nuclear proliferation, which is why I think it's unbelievable that Donald Trump has suggested that the South Koreans and the Japanese perhaps should have access to nuclear weapons. Religious sectarianism, the Sunni-Shia schism around the world is pretty high on the list, as well. We don't think about it here every day, but, you know, when you're considering actions like Iraq, actions that we've taken in the Middle East and North Africa, you've got to think about things like that as well that have rippling effects in a number of different countries, all across the top of Africa, for example.

Source: Washington Post joint interview of Johnson & Weld , Jul 7, 2016

1994: Supported $25B Mexico bailout

We asked the Congress to approve $25 billion in loans to allow Mexico to pay its debt on schedule and retain the confidence of creditors & investors, in return for Mexico's commitment to financial reforms & more timely reporting on its financial condition, in order to prevent this from happening again.

The risks were considerable, but I had confidence in Mexico's new president, Ernesto Zedillo. Besides, we simply couldn't let Mexico fall without trying to help. In addition to the economic problems it would cause both for us and for the Mexicans, we would be sending a terrible signal of selfishness and shortsightedness throughout Latin America.

I called the congressional leaders, explained the situation, and asked for their support. All of them pledged it. Several governors were also supportive, including Bill Weld of Massachusetts, who had a great interest in Mexico.

Congress would not pass the bill so we ended up providing the money to Mexico out of the Exchange Stabilization Fund.

Source: My Life, by Bill Clinton, p.642-643 , Jun 21, 2004

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Page last updated: Aug 22, 2016