11 May 2018
Mexico Becomes First Country to Ratify CPTPP, Strikes Ambitious Trade Deal with the EU
Mexico recently became the first country to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a deal that incorporates by reference the obligations (rules and market access outcomes) contained in the original TPP agreement except for a list of 22 original provisions whose application the parties have agreed to suspend upon entry into force of the agreement. These suspensions are mainly related to intellectual property protections, including in the areas of patents and copyrights as well as data and market protection obligations for new medicines, but also affect the investment, government procurement, financial services, environment and telecommunications chapters as well as certain provisions related to postal monopolies and customs duties on express shipments. The other CPTPP members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Separately, Mexico and the European Union have struck a deal in principle to upgrade their free trade agreement as part of a broader, modernised global arrangement. According to the European Commission, practically all bi-lateral trade in goods will now be duty free, including in the agricultural sector. Additionally, simpler customs procedures are expected to benefit a range of sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, machinery, and transport equipment. The two sides have also adopted provisions to tackle corruption in the private and public sectors and committed to effectively implement their obligations under the Paris Agreement on climate change.