EU and Mexico conclude final element of trade agreement

The EU and Mexico have concluded the last outstanding element of the negotiation of their new trade agreement.

Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan and Mexican Minister of Economy Graciela Márquez Colín – in a phone call yesterday, Tuesday, April 28 – 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 can advance to the signature and ratification of this agreement in line with their respective rules and procedures.

Under the new EU-Mexico agreement, practically all trade in goods between the EU and Mexico will be duty-free.

The agreement also now includes progressive rules on sustainable development, such as a commitment to effectively implementing 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.

Agricultural exports from the EU are set to benefit the most, such as poultry, cheese, chocolate, pasta, and pork, according to the European Commission at the time of the original agreement in principle in 2018.

Under the terms announced in 2018, the agreement will, in particular:
  • Provide preferential access for many cheeses such as Gorgonzola and Roquefort, which currently are up to 20%, and gain significant new access for many others within annual quotas;
  • Secure a considerable volume for milk powder exports in one of the largest markets, starting with 30,000t from entry into force, rising to 50,000t after five years;
  • Allow the EU to substantially increase its pork exports to Mexico, with duty-free trade for virtually all pork products;
  • Eliminate tariffs for products like chocolate (currently up to 30%) and pasta (currently up to 20%);
  • Ensure the protection from imitation for 340 distinctive European foods and drink products in Mexico.

Commenting, European Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan said:

“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.”

The broader global agreement, of which the trade agreement is an integral part, also covers the protection of human rights, as well as chapters on political and development cooperation.

It will also be the very first EU trade agreement to include provisions to fight corruption, with measures to act against bribery and money laundering.

Mexico is the EU’s number one trade partner in Latin America with bilateral trade in goods worth €66 billion and trade in services worth another €19 billion (respectively 2019 and 2018 data).

EU goods exports exceed €39 billion a year. EU-Mexico trade in goods has more than tripled since the entry into force of the original agreement in 2001.

The modernised trade agreement will help boost this strong historical growth, the commission concluded.