16 | JUN | 2019

Mexico and EU trade talks adjourned

Newsroom & Agencies
Mexico City
Inder Bugarin
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Mexican Economy Minister said European Commissioners could visit Mexico in the week starting February 19, though only if a deal was within reach

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said European Commissioners could visit Mexico in the week starting February 19 to help push talks to a close and to allow an initial deal to be announced, though only if a deal was within reach.

Unfortunately, Mexico's proposals on the modernization of the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico and the European Union (FTA EU-MX) were insufficient for the European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström and Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan, thus they decided not to visit the country.

Even though the renegotiation did not come to an end and the tenth round was not scheduled either, the Delegations of Mexico and the European Union closed five chapters on technical barriers to trade, state-owned enterprises, subsidies, anti-corruption, and trade in services.

However, one of the key challenges in the renegotiation is to determine how far to open each other’s markets to food and drink —such as tequila, chicken, and asparagus from Mexico and dairy products from Europe following its demand to recognize geographical indications.

"Given the current state of the proposals, it does not make sense for the Commissioners to travel. The conditions for raising a discussion at the political level has not been met," assured a source close to the renegotiation process.

The European Union and Mexico intend to update the trade deal agreed 21 years ago, which largely covers industrial goods. They want to add farm products, more services, investment and government procurement and include provisions on labor standards and environmental protection.


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