Mexico Pushes to Finish Trade Deal With EU This Month

Mexico Pushes to Finish Trade Deal With EU This Month

Mexican trade negotiators are pushing to finish work on an updated free-trade agreement with the European Union ahead of a trip by President Enrique Pena Nieto to the region later this month, according to three people familiar with the plan.

Mexico started work on updating its pact with the EU in mid-2016 and had aimed to complete a deal by the end of last year. The goal is now to finish negotiations in time for Pena Nieto to announce the agreement on a trip to Germany during the last week of April for Hannover Messe, an industry show where Mexico is the chosen partner country this year, according to the people, who asked not to be named discussing private negotiations.

While talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement have received more public attention, many of Mexico’s same negotiators within the Economy Ministry have been working to update the 17-year-old agreement with the EU, the biggest buyer of Mexican goods after the U.S. and Canada. Some Mexican negotiators plan to go from Washington to Brussels next week even as Nafta talks continue in order to try to land an EU deal before Pena Nieto’s arrival, and Minister Ildefonso Guajardo will also travel there after a summit this week in Peru, according to the people.

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