February 21, 2018 | By ANTHONY ESPOSITO –
European Union and Mexican negotiators wrapped up a ninth round of talks on Tuesday aimed at modernizing their two-decade-old free trade deal, saying they had agreed five new chapters and made important progress on others.
A new EU deal is key for Mexico as it looks to reduce its reliance on the United States, its top trade partner. U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement, a lynchpin of the Mexican economy.
The EU and Mexico intend to update the trade deal agreed 21 years ago, which largely covers industrial goods. They want to add farm products, more services, investment and government procurement, and include provisions on labor standards and environmental protection.
Negotiators meeting in Mexico City agreed chapters on technical barriers to trade, state-owned enterprises, subsidies, anti-corruption, and trade in services, Mexico’s economy secretary said in a statement.
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