UK sees 'immense opportunities' in Mexico trade talks

An enhanced deal 'would transform relationship', UK international trade minister says

The Mexican Congress in Mexico City,  during a vote. The country has the world's 16th largest economy. AFP
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Britain and Mexico are launching trade talks that could see widespread changes and boost financial, digital and service sectors, according to officials.

The UK said there were “immense opportunities” as it begins negotiations with Mexico over a free trade deal.

A free-trade agreement with Mexico would also boost Britain's foreign policy tilt towards the Indo-Pacific.

Mexico is a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Britain wants to join, and has a long border with the US.

Britain's trade relationship with Mexico is currently worth more than £4 billion ($5bn).

“This enhanced deal would transform our relationship with Mexico, making the most of the immense opportunities its dynamic business landscape and young, growing population offer,” UK International Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said.

UK International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan with Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Ms Trevelyan said UK businesses of 'all shapes and sizes' would benefit from an enhanced deal. PA

“From autonomous vehicle manufacturers in the West Midlands, to Wales' green tech businesses and Scotland's thriving food and drink sector, companies of all shapes and sizes across the UK stand to benefit.

“Trade deals like this are vital to growing the economy to address the cost of living, as they support jobs, help businesses thrive and spur investment.

“We've already kick-started negotiations with India and Canada and are close to joining the CPTPP free trade area, with a combined GDP of £9 trillion, of which Mexico is a key member.”

Since Britain left the EU in 2020, it has used continued using an EU-negotiated deal to handle trade with Mexico.

But the new deal could include tariff reductions on 97 per cent of UK goods secured under existing agreements, as well as gain market access for a range of services sectors too.

Britain added that it wanted to help workers move between the two countries more easily, make it easier for UK firms to bid for contracts in Mexico and have a dedicated chapter in the deal on small and medium-sized enterprises.

Ms Trevelyan was due to meet her Mexican counterpart, Tatiana Clouthier, in London on Friday.

The ministers are looking to increase trade flows across the financial, creative, digital and technology services sectors.

Its divorce from Brussels in 2020 gave the UK the ability to strike its own bilateral trade deals.

The Department for International Trade described Mexico, the world's 16th biggest economy, as a major market for UK exporters.

It said Mexico's growing population — set to reach almost 150 million within 13 years — means demand for imports is due to increase by more than a third by 2035.

The CPTPP free trade area, established in 2018, is now made of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Updated: May 20, 2022, 1:15 PM