Mexico Says New EU Trade Deal Is ‘Paramount’, Eyes 2017 Conclusion

4/4/2017 New York Times

EU flagA new free trade agreement with the European Union is of “paramount” importance for Mexico and both parties aim to conclude a deal this year, Mexico’s deputy economy minister has said.

Mexico and the 28-nation bloc are holding a third round of negotiations this week to upgrade an existing accord dating from 2000 that principally just cut tariffs on industrial goods.

“It’s paramount. Right now there’s no other issue, no other negotiation on top of the trade agenda for Mexico but this one,” Juan Carlos Baker, deputy minister for foreign trade, told Reuters in Brussels late on Monday.

The two parties agreed in 2015 to modernize their trade relations and held two rounds of talks last year. The election of U.S. President Donald Trump has reinforced Mexico’s need to reduce its reliance on the U.S. imports and exports.

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