Today, the EU and Mexico announced that they have reached agreement on the final elements under negotiation to modernise their trade agreement as part of the broader Global Agreement.
The negotiations to broaden and modernise the scope of the EU-Mexico Global Agreement were launched on the 25 May, 2016 with the Parties reaching an agreement in principle on the 21 April, 2018. Since then the text of the updated trade agreement has been undergoing a legal review by EU Commission experts known as ‘legal scrubbing’. The one remaining issue following the finalisation of formal trade negotiations was to successfully secure access to the public procurement market at national and regional level for Irish and EU companies.
Welcoming the news, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D. said: “I am delighted that today’s announcement signals that this final element in our trade negotiation has now been resolved, paving the way for the formal signature of the Agreement”.
“Under the Agreement almost all trade in goods between the EU and Mexico will now be duty free, including in the agricultural sector. Simpler customs procedures will further benefit the EU’s industry including sectors like pharmaceuticals, machinery and transport equipment.”
The Minister noted the opportunities that the Agreement offers Irish enterprise to build on existing strong business links as attested to by Irish goods exports to Mexico totalling €1.5 billion with imports of goods of €366 million in 2019. Exports of Services from Ireland totalled €704 million in 2018, the last year figures are available, with services imports into Ireland of €189 million.
The agreement also lays down progressive rules on sustainable development. Among other things, the EU and Mexico have committed to effectively implementing their obligations under the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Minister Humphreys added: “The Agreement will act as a springboard to increase Irish exports to Mexico. The main benefits for Ireland in a modernised agreement with Mexico will include the opening up of public procurement markets to Irish businesses and the removal of technical barriers to trade to reduce the costs of entry to the Mexican market. The removal of tariffs will be important for Ireland’s important Agri-food sector especially for dairy, pork and poultry products.
“There will also be further exciting opportunities in Mexico for Irish businesses including software, technology manufacturing, services, engineering, telecommunications, ICT and aerospace.
“In this time of significant shared global challenge, it will take an enormous collective effort to overcome and recover from the economic consequences of the Covid-19 crisis. EU Free Trade Agreements such as with Mexico highlight the essential nature of maintaining open trade and avoiding unnecessary barriers to trade and investment, which are essential to foster Irish, EU and global growth.”