The European Union (EU) and Mexico have concluded the last outstanding element of their negotiation for a new trade agreement.
EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan and 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, the EU and Mexico now advance to the signature and ratification of this agreement.
“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,” Hogan said. “Openness, partnerships and cooperation will be even more essential as we rebuild our economies after this pandemic…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 EU-Mexico agreement, nearly all trade in goods between the two parties will be duty-free. The pact also now includes progressive rules on sustainable development, such as a commitment to effectively implement the Paris Climate Agreement. It is also the first time that the EU agrees with a Latin American country on issues concerning investment protection. Simpler customs procedures will further help boost exports.
The trade agreement is part of a broader Global Agreement, which sets the framework for the EU’s relationship with Mexico and covers issues of broader shared interest that go beyond trade, including 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.
The EU-Mexico trade agreement will also be the first EU trade pact to include provisions to fight corruption, with measures to act against bribery and money laundering.
Mexico is the EU’s top trade partner in Latin America, with bilateral trade in goods worth 66 billion euros ($71.53 billion) and trade in services worth another 19 billion euros ($20.59 billion). EU-Mexico trade in goods has more than tripled since the entry into force of the original agreement in 2001.
The legal revision of the agreement is now being finalized. Once the process is concluded, the agreement will be translated into all EU languages. Following the translations, the European Commission proposal will be transmitted for signature and conclusion to the European Council and Parliament.
The EU and Mexico started the negotiations for this new, modernized agreement in May 2016. They reached an agreement in principle two years later, in April 2018, leaving for further discussion some outstanding technical issues that have now been fully agreed upon.
Mexico, the United States and Canada are set to enact their own free trade agreement on July. The USMCA replaces the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.