December 21, 2017 | By: IANA DREYER –
There will be no modernised trade deal with Mexico for Christmas. Despite having spent three days in Brussels, Mexican economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo hasn’t managed to break the deadlock over the contentious outstanding issues, geographical indications and investment protection.
The modernisation of the EU-Mexico global agreement launched in 2016 has progressed significantly, with a variety of chapters advancing nicely. Areas such as energy have reportedly progressed well. Guajardo stressed that “energy is not one of the remaining issues”.
European trade officials had been more optimistic about the prospects for a deal with Mexico than with the South American bloc Mercosur, talks towards which ended in a limbo in early December. But European Commission hopes to announce a ‘political agreement’ with Mexico by year-end were nonetheless dashed.
The issues that required ironing out over the last days included market access in agriculture, agreement over a few geographical indications on cheeses (such as Manchego) and the EU’s investment court system.
EU trade chief Cecilia Malmström said today: “We are confident we can solve all the remaining political issues. But we need a little bit more time.”
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