From food to pharmaceuticals, machinery to transport equipment, the new trade pact between the European Union and Mexico will scrap virtually all tariffs and stands to give another boost to bilateral trade that already jumped nearly 150% since the first agreement came into force in 2000.
"Trade can and should be a win-win process and today's agreement shows just that,’’ said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. “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."
“Today's agreement also sends a strong message to other partners that it is possible to modernise existing trade relations when both partners share a clear belief in the merits of openness, and of free and fair trade," said EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.
With the accord, set to be finalised by the end of the year, European farmers can expect to see bigger sales to Mexico, a country of more than 125 million consumers, in such products as cheese, chocolate, pasta, and pork. Gorgonzola and Roquefort will get new access within annual quotas. Milk powder will also enjoy a considerable tariff-free quota, which rises by more than 50% after five years. European chocolate, pasta and virtually all pork will be duty-free.
Altogether, more than 45,000 EU companies export to Mexico, with 400,000 European jobs tied to those exports, and the EU in 2016 posted a €14 billion goods trade surplus with Mexico.
The pact will also protect 340 European food and drink products from any imitations, so consumers know they’re buying the real thing. The so-called geographical indications include France’s Comté cheese, Portugal’s Queijo São Jorge cheese, Hungary’s Szegedi szalámi and Romania’s Magiun de prune Topoloveni plums.
What about being sure you’re buying a safe product? Under the so-called precautionary principle included in the trade agreement, the EU can bar an import when there is no scientific proof that they are safe to use or consume.
For businesses, the accord slashes customs paperwork, grants mutual access to government contracts through public procurement and protects investors through a Multilateral Investment Court. Addressing the digital revolution, it includes provisions protecting intellectual property and removes barriers to online trade while setting clear rules to protect consumers.