New EU-Mexico trade agreement to benefit agricultural exports

Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan

Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan

The new deal, which has been under negotiation for nearly two years, upgrades a previous agreement signed in 1997 that was mainly focused on liberalising trade in industrial goods. This weekend's announcement was unexpected for many as recent reports have suggested that the focus for Mexican officials was on concluding the NAFTA trade negotiations between the US, Canada and Mexico. Mexico City and Brussels have also committed to implementing their obligations under the Paris Agreement.

Additionally, products which will no longer be subject to duties include chocolate, on which tariffs are now up to 30%, and pasta, on which tariffs are now up to 20%.

But it is good news for Brexit supporters, who have long argued that is perfectly possible for countries outside the European Union to trade freely with it even if they do not sign up to its Free Movement migration regime and submit to the jurisdiction of the EU court.

In return, Mexico will enjoy liberalised access for its fruits and vegetables, orange juice and agave syrup, among other products.

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The agreement will lead to zero customs duties on some agricultural products of Mexico and will help diversify exports, said in a joint statement of the Ministry of economy and the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Mexico.

The deal includes a comprehensive trade and sustainable development chapter, setting the highest standards of labor, safety, environmental and consumer protection.

The EU is Mexico's third biggest trading partner, and Mexico, with 128 million people, is the EU's second biggest trading partner in Latin America after Brazil. It will also be the first European Union trade agreement to address corruption in the private and public sectors.

Total EU-Mexico trade in 2017 amounted to €62bn billion for goods and €15bn billion for services (2016).

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