In May 2016, Mexico and the European Union launched negotiations to modernize their Free Trade Agreement that entered into force in October 2000. When the third round of these talks happened in April in Brussels, both parties established the end of 2017 as the goal for a completion date. Since then, the two sides have met consistently every five to six weeks in an effort to finalize a deal. International trade expert Pablo Soria de Lachica recently discussed the motivation behind the renewed agreement and provided an updated outlook on the negotiations between Mexico and the European Union.
“We want to send a clear signal to the world about the force of strengthening – not weakening – the rules that govern international trade,” EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said during a May visit to Mexico City. “This is an ambitious but feasible goal.”
The two parties agreed in 2015 to revamp their trade relations, but the election of U.S. President Donald Trump and his anti-free trade rhetoric has reinforced the need for both countries to reduce their reliance on American imports and exports. Mexico in particular faces the possibility of higher U.S. duties, as Trump has pledged to renegotiate the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.
“It’s paramount. Right now there’s no other issue, no other negotiation on top of the trade agenda for Mexico but this one,” said deputy minister for foreign trade Juan Carlos Baker.
The European Union has chosen to freeze talks with the U.S. and instead turn its focus to sealing deals with two other major partners, Japan and Mexico.
When done, the new accord will simplify administrative burdens, cut red tape, boost growth and competitiveness, widen consumer choice and create jobs on both sides. Free trade agreements normally take years to accomplish, but Pablo Soria de Lachica believes the existing FTA from 2000, which already made a number of products tariff-free, has helped expedite negotiations. Significant obstacles remain, including the EU’s defensive interests in goods, services and public procurement, but there are reasons to believe the two sides will meet their end of year goal. A new deal would significantly boost trade in agricultural products including Mexican beef, sugar and bananas and EU dairy goods. The two countries are also historically close partners. After the United States and China, the European Union is Mexico’s third largest trading relationship, and Mexico is the primary destination for EU exports.
Pablo Soria de Lachica is an internationally acclaimed broker, Forex expert and advisor. A graduate of the Universidad Tecnologico de Mexico, where he received a Master of Business Administration, Soria de Lachica earned a professional reputation as a self-taught master of foreign exchange transactions. Presently, he collaborates with Kartoshka, a global leader of the latest sales, telemarketing and customer support technologies. A passionate philanthropist, Soria de Lachica also supports numerous community and environmental projects and contributes generously to various organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America, Barnardo’s, Bridges for Peace and the America-Isreal Cultural Foundation.