On 14 July 1998, a Joint Committee on the Interim Agreement was set up and negotiations for a free trade agreement were initiated. Nine rounds of negotiations took place between November 1998 and November 1999. Negotiations on the free trade agreement between Mexico and the EU were concluded on 24 November 1999. On 28 April 2020, Mexico and the European Union concluded negotiations on the modernisation of the trade pillar of the agreement. This was the last outstanding element of their new trade agreement. The Interim Agreement, which was to enter into force until the entry into force of the Comprehensive Agreement, was approved by the Mexican Senate on 23 April 1998. The part of this agreement was approved by the European Parliament on 13 May 1998 and the parties exchanged instruments of ratification on 30 June 1998, which allowed the entry into force of the Interim Agreement on trade and trade-related matters on 1 July 1998. Trade in agricultural products is covered by three bilateral agricultural agreements between the EFTA State (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) and Mexico. These agreements are part of the instruments for the creation of the free trade area and are subject to the disciplines applicable to trade in goods in the main agreement. They provide for important concessions on both sides, taking into account the respective sensitivities.
Each agreement contains specific rules of origin, usually based on the “fully acquired” origin criteria. Given that the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada – the agreement that replaced NAFTA on July 1 – offers less favorable terms than before for Mexico, the signing of a new agreement with the EU came at a good time. On 28 In return, until the entry into force of the Agreement (Annex IV), EFTA granted duty-free access to Mexican exports of all industrial products. “The economic, social and political differences between the EU and Mexico represent the comparative advantages of both sides in achieving mutually beneficial exchanges of goods and services,” Dirk De Bièvre, professor of international politics and chair of the department of political science at the University of Antwerp, told World Finance. “These differences make them complementary savings and create the conditions to benefit from the trade facilitation and stabilization of mutual expectations that a trade agreement can offer.” The EU-Mexico Joint Council met for the first time on 27 February 2001. .