Leaders of Latin America’s 4-nation Pacific Alliance trade bloc meet to discuss final form

Latin_America2Associated Press, 5/22/2013

The presidents of Colombia, Peru, Chile and Mexico meet in the western city of Cali on Thursday in hopes of completing a nascent trade bloc that looks to the European Union as a model and aims to further open their trade with Asia. The leaders of Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Spain, all interested in eventually joining the bloc, are due to attend as observers. Costa Rica was signing a free trade agreement with Colombia on Wednesday.

The Pacific Alliance was formally inaugurated last June. All its members but Colombia already belong to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an Asia-Pacific-wide trading bloc that includes Canada and the United States. In a televised speech Tuesday night, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, an economist and former foreign trade minister, called the alliance essential to “the most important process of integration in the history of Latin America.”

Read more…

Mexico Envisions Nafta-EU Trade Agreement, Foreign Minister Says

NAFTA_logoBloomberg, 3/23/2013

Mexico envisions a trade deal tying it to the European Union, U.S. and Canada as the future of transatlantic commerce and would welcome joining talks between the U.S. and EU, Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade said. An agreement that binds the nations of the North American Free Trade Agreement to the EU, the world’s two largest free- trade areas, makes the most sense because it would leverage the economic power of the Nafta nations, Meade said. Mexico already has a free-trade deal with the EU, while Canada and the U.S. are each negotiating their own trade deal.

Having each nation in a separate bilateral agreement with the EU wouldn’t “take full advantage of the economies of scale and scope that have resulted from Nafta,” Meade said in an interview yesterday in Washington. “We would be very willing to participate from the outset if from the outset it would be made to be something regional rather than bilateral.”

Read more…

EU trade chief calls on Mexico to reopen trade pact with Europe

Reuters, 11/13/2012

Europe and Mexico need to go back to the negotiating table to rework their 12-year-old free-trade agreement to include services and agriculture, the European Union’s top trade official said on Monday.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said Mexico and Europe needed to rework their trade pact, which was signed in 2000, to match the framework of more recent and comprehensive deals.

“Mexico and the European Union have been pioneers of transatlantic free trade but our legal relationship now risks falling behind,” De Gucht told a conference in the central Mexican city of Queretaro.

Read more…