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EU And Mexico Advance Free Trade Talks

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels Friday, April 14, 2017

The European Commission has reported that good progress was made towards updating the European Union's free trade agreement (FTA) with Mexico in the recently concluded third round of negotiations.

According to the Commission, the aim of the round was to put on the table proposals covering all negotiating areas and start to merge texts coming from both sides.

The EU proposals presented so far covered rules of origin, public procurement, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, energy and raw materials, intellectual property rights, and trade by small- and medium-sized businesses, the Commission said.

The existing comprehensive FTA between the EU and Mexico entered into force for goods in 2000 and for services in 2001. The aim of the current negotiations, says the Commission, is to adapt the FTA "to the reality of today's global trade."

Both sides have committed to concluding the negotiations before the end of 2017.

EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom is expected to travel to Mexico in early May to ensure the momentum of the talks is maintained.

The EU is Mexico's third-largest trading partner after the US and China, and around eight percent of Mexico's total trade took place with the EU in 2015.

The EU was also Mexico's third largest source of imports after the United States and China, with EUR33.7bn (USD35.9bn) worth of goods imported in 2015. Key EU exports to Mexico include other machinery, transport equipment, chemical products, and fuels and mining products.

The EU imported EUR19.3bn worth of goods from Mexico in 2015. The EU's key imports from Mexico are fuels and mining products, office and telecommunication equipment, transport equipment, and other machinery.

In terms of services EU imports from Mexico are dominated by travel services, and transport services. EU services exports to Mexico consist mainly of transport services, and telecommunications, computer and information services.

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