Mexico and the European Union finalize the negotiations over new trade agreement

After four years of negotiations, they have finally reached an agreement

Mexico and the European Union finalize the negotiations over new trade agreement
Mexico’s Economy Minister Graciela Márquez Colín and EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan reached the agreement - Photo: File photo & AFP
English 29/04/2020 15:54 Newsroom/EL UNIVERSAL in English Mexico City Actualizada 16:17

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Mexico and the European Union announced that they have concluded the last outstanding element of the negotiation of their new trade agreement after four years. Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan and the Mexican Minister of Economy Graciela Márquez Colín agreed “on the exact scope of the reciprocal opening of public procurement markets and a high level of predictability and transparency in public procurement processes.” With this agreement, Mexico and the EU will move forward to sign and ratify the trade deal.

Mexico and the EU started the negotiations for this new, modernized agreement, known as TLCUEM, in May 2016.

According to a statement released by the EU, Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan said: “While most of our efforts have been focused lately on tackling the coronavirus crisis, we have also been working to advance our open and fair trade agenda, which continues to be very important. Openness, partnerships, and cooperation will be even more essential as we rebuild our economies after this pandemic. I am very pleased, therefore, that together with our Mexican partners, we share similar views and that our continued work could now come to fruition. Today's agreement is clear evidence of our shared commitment to advance our agenda of partnership and cooperation. This agreement – once in force – will help both the EU and Mexico to support our respective economies and boost employment.”

Under the new Mexico-EU agreement, almost all trade in goods between Mexico and the EU will be duty-free. The agreement now also includes progressive rules on sustainable development, such as a commitment to effectively implementing the Paris Climate Agreement. It is also the first time that the EU agrees with a Latin American country on issues concerning investment protection. Additionally, simpler customs procedures will further help boost exports.

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The new trade agreement is significant for both economies, especially because Mexico is the EU's number one trade partner in Latin America with bilateral trade worth €66 billion and trade in services worth €19 billion. Moreover, Mexico-EU trade has tripled since the original agreement was implemented in 2001. Now, the revamped agreement will boost both economies.

Moreover, the Global Agreement, of which the trade agreement is an integral part, also “covers the protection of human rights, as well as chapters on political and development cooperation. It will also be the very first EU trade agreement to include provisions to fight corruption, with measures to act against bribery and money laundering.”

What’s next?

The legal revision of the new agreement is being finalized and once the process ends, the agreement will be translated into all EU languages. Later, it will be signed and approved by all EU members.

A historical trade deal 

This trade agreement is part of a broader Global Agreement, which covers trade, political issues, climate change, and human rights. Mexico was the first country in Latin America to sign a Global Agreement with the EU in 1997. 

In 2018, they agreed on a new deal but did not discuss some technical issues, which have been solved. 

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