Britain looks to Mexico for advanced deal and hopes to conclude membership of CPTPP 'by end of 2022'

Fri 20 May 2022
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

Britain and Mexico launched negotiations for a new trade deal today (Friday 20 May) to slash tariffs and boost trade.

International trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan met with Mexican secretary of economy Tatiana Clouthier to reveal the plans at drinks giant Diageo’s London headquarters.

Diageo is leading exporter to Mexico, a destination for UK food and drink products and a top market for Scotch whisky.

'Enthusiastic' about CPTPP application

The move comes as Trevelyan told the Financial Times that the UK hoped to conclude its application to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade bloc, of which Mexico is a member.

Trevelyan revealed that the UK had already completed the first part of the accession process to the 11-nation CPTPP and that it was “not unrealistic that we might get there by the end of the year”, adding that the group was “very enthusiastic about our application”.

Roll over deal

The UK signed a roll-over of the Mexico-EU trade deal in 2020, which came into force on June 1, 2021.

Both countries will look to secure an advanced deal which will boost jobs and grow their economies, reports the Sun.

Trade between the countries was worth £4.2bn last year, up 9.2% according to the government. Mexico is the UK’s 44th largest trade partner, making up 0.3% of total trade.

UK investment

In addition to discussing a new trade agreement with the UK, the Mexican delegation will hold meetings with the private sector, with the aim of strengthening British investment in Mexico, El Financiero reports.

During a six-day visit, Mexico will also visit Germany for talks with companies such as Bayer, BMW and Volkswagen about investing in Mexico.

According to Politico, bumps in the road could be Mexico’s record on environmental matters and labour rights.

The British car industry wants to increase trade of electric vehicles and the Trevelyan has focused on the opportunities of greener British trade.

Environment and labour rights

However, Mexico, however, doesn’t have a target for when it will reach net-zero carbon emissions and align with its Paris climate commitments.

This week US trade representative Katherine Tai said it was investigating Mexican labour practices for the third time using mechanisms in the USMCA deal.

“Mexico has an appalling track record of union-busting and flouting international labour conventions,” said Rosa Crawford, a policy officer at the Trades Union Congress. “The UK government must not turn a blind eye to this.”

Colombian deal

Meanwhile, the UK and Colombia have announced that Colombia has ratified the United Kingdom-Andean Countries Trade Agreement and is ready to play a full part in implementing the agreement.

The UK wants to expand British exports to Colombia in the life sciences, fintech, renewables and infrastructure sectors.

Colombia aims to position itself as a key partner for the UK in agri-business and other non-traditional exports (such as value-added services and life sciences).