BRUSSELS – The European Union and Mexico concluded negotiations for a new trade agreement that will eliminate tariffs on virtually all products, the European Commission said on Saturday.
“Today we have concluded a deal with Mexico ... (for a) modern and comprehensive FTA (free trade agreement) in less than two years. Good for our consumers and business. EU and Mexico (are) partners for sustainable, rule-based trade,” European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said on Twitter.
The negotiation aimed to update the EU-Mexico trade agreement signed in the year 2000 regarding issues such as rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, industrial property rights and the trading of goods, including agricultural products.
According to the European Commission, the new trade agreement will facilitate customs procedures, benefiting many EU industries, including in sectors like pharmaceuticals, machinery and transport equipment.
The new agreement also establishes sustainable development rules and both parties “committed to effectively implementing their obligations under the Paris Agreement on climate change,” the European Commission said in a statement.
In addition, this would be “the first EU trade agreement to tackle corruption in the private and public sectors,” the statement says.
“Trade can and should be a win-win process and today’s agreement shows just that,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.
“Mexico and the EU worked together and reached a mutually beneficial outcome. We did it as partners who are willing to discuss, to defend their interests while at the same time being willing to compromise to meet each other’s expectations,” Juncker said.
The European Commission president added that, with this new agreement, “Mexico joins Canada, Japan and Singapore in the growing list of partners willing to work with the EU in defending open, fair and rules-based trade.”
According to Malmström, the agreement will allow the two parties to face the economic and political challenges of the 21st century, opening “a new chapter in our long and fruitful relationship.”
Malmström added that the agreement sent a “strong message to other partners that it is possible to modernize existing trade relations when both partners share a clear belief in the merits of openness, and of free and fair trade.”
The European Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, said that the agreement was “very positive” for the EU’s agri-food sector, as it created “new export opportunities for our high-quality food and drink products, which in turn will create more jobs and growth, particularly in rural areas.”