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Mexico Exports Down but New Opportunities Might Follow

By Ricardo Guzman | Tue, 04/28/2020 - 18:08

Despite the sharp collapse in oil exports that was partially offset by increases in agricultural and extractive sectors, Mexico exports reached US$38.4 billion in March, a year-on-year drop of 1.6 percent according to INEGI. Mexican exports were also affected by restrictions in international markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic but benefited from the depreciation of the peso against the dollar and the closure of plants in China and Europe.

Last year, Mexico ranked 11th among the largest exporting economies with US$461 billion and 12th among the largest importing economies with US$467 billion, according to WTO. With USMCA’s date confirmed for July 1 and restrictions on global productive chains eased, global trade is expected to recover. For Mexico the opportunity can be even bigger after finalizing a new trade agreement with the EU.

The new EU-Mexico trade agreement (FTA EU-MX) can now move forward to its signature and ratification, the European body announced in a statement. This move is expected to boost Mexico’s exports to the EU, as the region’s main business partner in Latin America. The agreement will be translated to all EU languages to be sent to the European Parliament for signing and ratification.

“I am very pleased that together with our Mexican partners we share similar views and that our continued work could now come to fruition. This agreement will help both the EU and Mexico to support our respective economies and boost employment,” EU Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan said after agreeing on the final details with Minister of Economy (SE) Graciela Márquez.

The Ministry of Economy announced the conclusion of the negotiation that started in June 2016 and that will include “new disciplines such as energy and raw materials, sustainable development, small and medium-sized companies, regulatory practices, transparency and anti-corruption.” Business associations praised the ministry and Márquez for the successful negotiation.

Under the new agreement, practically all goods will be duty-free. It was also the first time the EU agrees with a Latin American country on investment protection and simpler customs procedures that will further help boost trade. Mexico is the EU's number one trade partner in Latin America with bilateral trade worth US$75 billion on 2019. Trade between the EU and Mexico has more than tripled since the original agreement started in 2001.  

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Ricardo Guzman Ricardo Guzman Editor