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Mexico wants more beef in EU markets

Ivette Saldaña
Mexico City
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Despite having the capacity to meet European quality standards, Mexican beef has no access to European markets

The cattle industry in Mexico is expecting the European Union to show greater openness regarding Mexican livestock products, such as beef, as this market is currently closed to Mexican producers, according to a statement by a representative of the National Confederation of Livestock Organization, Salvador Álvarez.

Mexico and the European Union are currently revamping their Free Trade Agreement, and while Europeans are pushing to sell more dairy products to Mexico, Mr. Salvador Álvarez claims the European beef market remains off limits to Mexicans as the EU strives to protect the respective markets of their 28 member countries.

For instance, Mr. Álvarez said, Mexican livestock breeders export horse meat to the European Union yet during the negotiation the EU has demanded “harsher rules of origin” for this product.

Mexico imports horses from the U.S. which they later export to the EU, and now Europeans want said horses to remain a minimum of six months in Mexico, a request several national companies have rejected, according to the Confederation representative.

Yet it all comes down to beef, as Mexico is pushing to export 50,000 tonnes to the European Union.

The representative added that Europeans have approved beef from Brazil and other countries and that Mexico is capable of meeting the quality standards required as they already export beef to countries such as Russia and Saudi Arabia, reason why, he claims, the only thing needed to make the deal is the willingness of their European counterparts.

As part of the negotiations, EU can import a maximum of 12,500 tonnes of cheese and Mexico proposes an additional 12,500 at a 20% duty rate.

The Mexican Minister of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo is expected to meet at the end of January with Cecilia Malmström, EU Trade Commissioner, to start drafting the closure of the negotiation.


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