European dairy and pig farmers are set to benefit from a new EU-Mexico trade agreement which will remove almost all tariffs on agricultural goods.
Under the terms of the deal, which has been agreed ‘in principle’, many cheeses which are currently subject to duties of up to 20 per cent will gain preferential access to the Mexican market, and quotas for EU exports of milk powder will increase.
Pork exports are also set to benefit thanks to cuts in tariffs on virtually all products.
The new deal upgrades the EU-Mexico agreement which came into force in 2000, which has already increased trade by 148 per cent.
It will come as a blow to the US, because Mexico has accepted EU demands to recognise geographical indications and the precautionary principle – both strongly opposed by America.
Farming Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “This agreement proves yet again the value of the EU leading from the front globally in promoting open and rules-based trade.
“Our commitment is to deliver benefits for our citizens at home through closer co-operation with our partners abroad.
“This deal is very positive for our agri-food sector, creating new export opportunities for our high-quality food and drink products, which in turn will support more jobs and growth, particularly in rural areas.”
The new deal is perhaps one of the quickest negotiated by the EU, with talks beginning in May 2016, though technical details in some areas still need to be completed.
It is hoped the full legal text will be finalised by the end of the year, after which the Commission can submit it for approval by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.