Mexico and European Union reach new trade deal

Mexico's Economy Minister Guajardo speaks during an entrepreneurship event in Mexico City

"With the conclusion of this new agreement, Mexico and the European Union send a strong message to the world about the importance of keeping markets open, working together multilaterally to face global challenges", the Mexican government said.

The EU said yesterday that it had reached an agreement that in principle would result in almost all trade between EU countries and Mexico being duty-free, including the agriculture sector.

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%.

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

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. Mexico City and Brussels have also committed to implementing their obligations under the Paris Agreement.

The right to use European names for Mexican-made cheeses had previously been a sticking point in the negotiations.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström highlighted the speed with which the deal was reached. The agreement, awaiting to be finalised and approved, comes as trade between the European Union and Mexico having risen at a rate of around 8% per year, resulting in an overall increase of 148% in trade in goods over the period.

"We now open a new chapter in our long and fruitful relationship, boosting trade and creating jobs".

Officials also say the agreement opens the door for companies in the European Union or Mexico to bid for government contracts overseas.

Annual trade between the two is €62 billion (US $75 billion) and growing at about 8% per year, according to European Union figures. About three-quarters of Mexico's exports go to the US; roughly half its imports come from there.

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