EU Sees ‘Good Progress’ in Accelerated Trade Talks With Mexico

  • Europe trade chief Malmstrom to visit Mexico early next month
  • Both sides seek ‘political conclusion’ by end of this year

The European Union said it is making “good progress” in trade negotiations with Mexico, which the two sides have accelerated in the face of a rise in protectionist sentiment.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom will visit Mexico in early May, the EU said on Monday in a statement. After a negotiating round in Brussels last week, the next session of talks is scheduled for June 26-29.

“Both sides are committed to make the agreement ready for political conclusion before the end of this year,” the EU said. The discussions were initiated last year to update the existing EU-Mexico free-trade pact, which was negotiated two decades ago.

Mexico and the EU in February agreed to hold two extra negotiating rounds before mid-year, citing “the worrying rise of protectionism around the world,” according to a joint statement by Malmstrom and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo.

The two partners are seeking a free trade agreement that is “broader and more far-reaching,” Malmstrom and Guajardo said. In the decade from 2005 to 2015, annual trade in goods between Europe and Mexico more than doubled to 53 billion euros ($56.1 billion).

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