Updated EU-Mexico Trade Agreement will be 'comparable to TTIP'

By Niamh Michail contact

- Last updated on GMT

“The EU and Mexico are strategic partners, linked through a Free Trade Agreement which, in the last 15 years, has multiplied our trade, our investments and created economic growth and jobs for both sides," said trade commissioner Malmström.
“The EU and Mexico are strategic partners, linked through a Free Trade Agreement which, in the last 15 years, has multiplied our trade, our investments and created economic growth and jobs for both sides," said trade commissioner Malmström.

Related tags: International trade, European union

The EU and Mexico will strengthen their economic ties by modernising the Free Trade Agreement, announced EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström and the Mexican economic minister yesterday. 

Both parties are currently conducting a scoping exercise of what should be covered by the updated version,  but Malmström said the agreement would adapt to a new economic reality, helping businesses overcome non-tariff barriers to trade.

“Every week, we trade more than a billion euros worth of goods and services. And our total shared foreign investment stocks are worth more than 120 billion euros. It's a close and vital economic relationship,"​ she said.

“...We will make the modernised EU-Mexico trade agreement comparable to our deal with Canada and to what TTIP will become.”

The trade commissioner said she would request a mandate from the Council to launch negotiations this year, preparing the ground for the EU-Mexico Summit scheduled to take place on 12 June 2015.

What it will include

The agreement would see both Mexico and the EU adopt a more ambitious approach to regulation, aiming to facilitate trade by addressing non-tariff barriers for industrial goods, food and agriculture without weakening consumer protection.

Investment protection and protection of geographical indications for food and drink would also be updated. 

Malmström said: "The EU-Mexico agreement on the mutual recognition and protection of geographical indications was signed in 1997.Since then many bottles of Tequila, Mezcal, Grappa and Cognac have been emptied, all of them GIs protected under that deal. But many other excellent products are not covered. So we have work to do there too."

Reactions

President of the European Liaison Committee for the Agricultural and Agri-food Trade (CELCAA) Paul Rooke welcomed the decision to renew the agreement and called for negotiators to address tariff peaks on certain agricultural products and the unjustifiably long approval process of EU meat establishments and dairy plants.

A statement by the CELCAA said: “The European Union is highly competitive in terms of production and trade in agri-food commodities. The EU has many offensive interests, especially in dairy, meat and wine sectors and EU negotiators should seek ambitious tariff liberalisation for these goods as well as high level of protection of EU GI’s.

“[We highlight] the need for a reduction in the high tariff levels imposed on European exports of agri-food commodities when exported to Mexico, in particular in the dairy sector where tariffs vary from 60% to 75% for the main exported milk products (cheese and milk powders).”​ 

Overall trade between Mexico and the EU has risen by almost 250% since first trade agreement between the two came into force in 2000, with the EU becoming the second largest destination for Mexican imports. Currently more than one billion euros of goods and services are traded between the EU and Mexico each week, with total shared foreign investment stocks worth more than €120 bn. 

Details of all tariffs on EU exports to Mexico can be found in the EU's market access database​.

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