The initial Association Agreement brought many trade benefits to the EU and Mexico, although some trade barriers remain. On 14 July 1998, a joint committee of the interim agreement was established and negotiations were initiated for a free trade agreement. Nine rounds of negotiations took place between November 1998 and November 1999. Negotiations on the free trade agreement between Mexico and the EU, concluded on 24 November 1999. Prior to the start of the negotiations, the Commission carried out an impact assessment. The study published in 2016 examined the potential environmental, social and economic implications of the agreement. In 2015, the European Commission published new guidelines for transparency. Since then, the Commission has published all the new negotiating documents presented in trade negotiations. Since agriculture accounts for just over one per cent of EU GDP, the threat posed by Mexican products outside the agricultural environment cannot cause much suffering. Instead, companies and wealthy individuals may be more interested in the terms of the agreement, which facilitate investment in each market, by limiting the number of companies likely to engage in specific economic activity. Changes in food standards may make headlines, but new investment criteria will determine where real money will end up. On 30 May 2016, Mexico and the European Union formally began talks to update their current free trade agreement. The first round of negotiations for the modernization of the agreement was held in Brussels, Belgium, on 13 and 14 June 2016.
The second round of negotiations for the modernization of the agreement was held in Mexico City from 22 to 25 November 2016. In April 2018, the EU and Mexico reached an “agreement in principle” on the trade side of a modernised global agreement between the EU and Mexico. As with all EU trade agreements, the agreement with Mexico will not affect EU product standards, including food and agricultural standards. The trade aspects of the Global Agreement were adopted by Decisions 2/2000 of the EU-Mexico Joint Council establishing a free trade area for goods and 2/2001, which establishes a free trade area for services. Whether they apply to foreign or domestic service providers, the agreement will not change or affect EU or Mexican rules: companies and wealthy individuals may be interested in the terms of the agreement, which facilitate investment in any market. All industries that trade between Mexico and the EU will benefit directly or indirectly from the modernisation of this agreement. However, some sectors could benefit more, in particular: both sides are in the process of legally revising the text of the modernised agreement. After translation into all EU languages, it is sent to EU Member States and the European Parliament for signature and conclusion. The European Commission has commissioned an independent consultant to carry out a sustainable impact assessment of the EU-Mexico trade agreement. The ASA takes a closer look at the potential environmental, social and economic consequences of the agreement.
And the new agreement will allow the EU and Mexico to discuss with civil society a number of issues such as human rights, including: the European Commission has also held numerous meetings with representatives of many civil society organisations, among the more than 460 civil society organisations, which are part of their ongoing dialogue on trade policy. Among these non-profit groups established in the EU are: the EU and Mexico have agreed that the trade agreement between them must support existing environmental laws and not reduce or water them down. The agreement prohibits both sides from pursuing “a race to the bottom.” “The economic, social and political differences between the EU and Mexico represent the comparative advantages of each party in conducting a mutually beneficial trade in goods and services,” Dirk De Biévre, professor of international politics and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Antwerp, told World