Trade of most goods between Mexico and the EU will soon be duty-free, thanks to an agreement struck this week.
“Practically all trade in goods” will see reduction in prohibitive costs, the EU has said.
In 2017, Mexico was the EU’s 13th-largest trading partner in goods: the region exported €38bn-worth of goods to the country, according to stats from the European Commission. In turn, the EU is Mexico’s third-largest trading partner in goods, with the country exporting €24bn-worth of goods to the region last year.
Agricultural exports from the EU are poised to benefit from the deal. Goods such as poultry, dairy, meat, chocolate and pasta will have existing tariffs lifted, preferential access granted and current volumes boosted. Virtually all pork products will be duty-free.
“This deal is very positive for our agri-food sector, creating new export opportunities for our high-quality food and drink products, which in turn will create support more jobs and growth, particularly in rural areas,” says EU commissioner for agriculture, Phil Hogan.
Mexico’s agri sector stands to benefit as well: tariffs will be lifted on products such as tuna, honey, agave syrup, orange juice and fruit, to name a few. The agreement allows for certain products such as apples, pears and dairy products to be protected, reads a release on the Mexican government’s website.
The government also points to potential wins in services trade, incorporating telecoms as well as the “temporary entry of people and services related to the digital economy”.
The new agreement will replace a previous agreement between the EU and Mexico from 2000.
“The EU is already Mexico’s second-biggest export market after the US, and its third-largest source of imports,” says Natalie Blyth, global head of trade and receivables finance at HSBC. “This deal will provide consumers with access to a greater choice of goods and services, and will offer businesses enhanced trade opportunities to secure future growth.”
Some of the measures included in the new agreement relate to digital trade, such as lifting customs duties when downloading apps and implementing rules to protect online consumers. Trade in services, including financial services and e-commerce, is also set to be boosted under the new arrangement.
Other measures focus on sustainability and transparency: the deal is the first EU trade agreement to include measures to fight corruption in the public and private sectors, including bribery and money laundering. One chapter sets higher standards of labour, safety, environmental and consumer protection, and a commitment to strengthen adherence to the Paris Agreement on climate change is also included.
A joint statement from commissioners Malmström and Hogan, and the economic secretary of Mexico, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, says of the deal: “This will contribute to making our trade relationship fit to face the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century”.
The agreement marks nearly two years since negotiations on the deal began. The full legal text will be issued by the end of the year and submitted for ratification thereafter.