Brussels.- In the midst of the crisis due to inflation in Europe, resulting from Russian invasion of Ukrainewithin European Parliament voices are heard demanding that the signing of the ratification be accelerated Trade agreement between Europe and Mexicosigned in 1997 and in force for more than two decades, in 2000.
More than the details and negotiations that are already in the final stage, We are concerned that political time is running out sign the ratification.
“The association agreement must be signed before the deadline for the electoral process in Mexicoand I can tell you that we will do everything in our power to make it so, and I have to work hard because the next time you see me I won’t have any skin left, but this agreement must come into force before the deadline expires”, he believes Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero, representative of the Club of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democratsin the European Parliament, in an interview with the Mexican media.
For the Spanish representative, the most important thing, among the items that need to be modernized in the document, is that there is no investment agreement in the current one, and now it has been included.
Another aspect that he considers important is improve part of access to the services market. But even “more important than market access for goods and services is how we want the goods and services we exchange to be delivered, it’s not about ‘I’ll trade your potatoes for meat,’ I want those potatoes to have those requirements, and I want the cars which you will sell me meet certain conditions”, is an example.
In this sense, the parliamentary representative points out that a chapter on sustainable developmentan aspect that two decades ago was not taken into account when signing commercial contracts in the world, “and this chapter considers social sustainability, work sustainability and environmental sustainability”.
Rodríguez-Piñero points out that it is for Europeans It was very important that Mexico adhere to Convention 98 of the International Labor Organizationin terms of freedom of association, because trade policy instruments must contribute to making the economic conditions of the population more favorable.
In the area of market competition, he notes that “Mexico has done a great job in opening its public procurement markets to European competition, not only at the federal level but also at the sub-federal level, Mexico has done it rigorously on time and has been an example because it has opened the way for other agreements at the sub-federal level”.
It is also pointed out that this is the first time that an anti-corruption chapter has been included in the agreement, and it was a Mexican initiative, which reflects the importance for Mexico of strengthening democratic values, since corruption, Rodríguez-Piñero claims, is the main scourge for citizenship and for democracy.
The MEP specifies that all these regulatory frameworks should not cause anxiety, “we should not be afraid of standards, we should be afraid that they are not there”.
For openness in energy policy
Regarding energy policy the government of President López Obrador and the remarks of the trade representative of the United States in terms of concerns about the lack of competition and protection of Mexican companies in the sector, which motivated the request for consultations, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero alludes to the electricity reform that was rejected in the Mexican Congress in April of this year.
“If that reform was approved, “it would be worrying because it really is a different model, isn’t it? We, of course, defend the freedom of the parties, the right to regulate, in all contracts, but we also defend obligations in contracts, and in the modernization agreement with Mexico, there is an obligation to fulfill the Paris goals (…) It was significant for me that this reform was not approved and I hope that what we are doing is cooperating in an energy model that enables competition, because it is really the best for the consumer in terms of price, and especially in clean energy, what the planet needs”.
Impact of T-MEC consultation, timing concerns
Asked about the impacts both could have inquire into framework of T-MECat the request of the United States and Canada, and regarding the resignation of Tatiana Clouthier from the Ministry of Economy and her replacement with Raquel Buenrostro, Rodríguez-Piñero stated:What worries us are the deadlines. The goal is to be able to sign and ratify in order to meet the Mexican deadlines, as well as the deadlines of the European Parliament, we are going to the elections in 2024 and from 2024 we no longer have the dynamics of approval or disapproval, the dynamics of regulations and directives”.
The parliamentarian makes it clear that there must be diversification of the economy in Mexico business interestbecause the governments negotiate the conditions, but the Mexican business fabric is the one that should be interested in investing in the European market and take advantage of these conditions to diversify.
More than 20 years after the entry into force of the agreement, bilateral trade between of the European Union and Mexico more than tripled. According to official data, the flows of goods and services between the two economies amount to almost 60 billion euros. In 2021, the EU remained the second largest net investor in Mexico with €6.9 billion (24.6% of total net foreign direct investment), only after the United States.
It promotes trade policy from a gender perspective
Before she was the “rapporteur” or rapporteur in the agreement with Mexico, the Spanish parliamentarian had the same role in the association agreement with Chile, where she successfully fought for the inclusion of a chapter on gender issues. But when the agreement with Mexico began to be renegotiated and she came to the presentation, the chapter on gender issues was not included and it will no longer be possible to incorporate it because it was not in the negotiating mandate.
But, insisting on it, Rodríguez-Piñero is asking for it at the same time a declaration was signed, where there is a firm commitment and deadlines according to the chapter on gender equality. “Women in Mexico must benefit just like men from all the benefits of the trade agreement,” she says, asking to repeat her suggestion.
He prefers not to talk about the details of this statement in advance. “We are already working on the content, I can’t give details, but we are working.”