The chapter on the protection of intellectual property rights (Chapter VI, Article 69 and Appendix XXI) includes, among other things, patents, trademarks and copyrights and geographical indications. The level of protection in some areas goes beyond the level of protection established by the WTO agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property, taking into account the principles of treatment of the most favoured nation and national treatment. The agreement contains provisions for geographical indications. “The economic, social and political differences between the EU and Mexico represent the comparative advantages of each party for the 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 Finance. “These differences make them complementary savings that create the conditions to take advantage of trade facilitation and the stabilization of mutual expectations that a trade agreement can offer.” Given that the agreement between the United States, Mexico – the agreement that replaced Nafta on 1 July – offers less favourable terms than mexico previously enjoyed, the signing of a new agreement with the EU is timely. “The new type of commitment signed by the EU and Mexico guarantees the stability and credibility on which investors and exporters can reliably build their long-term investment and distribution channel decisions,” said De Biévre. “There is a policy and legal certainty – a property that is now a great shortage in the United States. For Mexico, a stable and deep trade relationship with one of the three main players in international trade policy, the EU, is an important insurance policy. The agreement provides for effective access to the industrial market in the form of tariffs and rules of origin.
Mexico has gradually liberalized all manufactured products (Annex V). In return, EFTA grants duty-free access to Mexican exports of all industrial products until the agreement comes into force (Annex IV). But not everyone is happy with the new agreement. The national cattle and meat association interbev warned that the agreement risked opening up the European market to “20,000 tonnes of Mexican beef”, which had previously been banned. Critics have also focused on food security issues, which appear to be all the more relevant in the supply chain due to the disruptions caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. Protectionism and self-sufficiency are back in fashion. The agreement covers trade in all fish and other seafood (Article 4 and Appendix III). EFTA states grant duty-free access to imports of all Mexican fisheries products.
Mexico maintains tariffs on a limited number of products of lesser economic importance to EFTA states. Nevertheless, parties reaching an agreement should be allowed to feel at least one moment of pride for the culmination of their efforts. This is probably the current feeling of the EU and Mexico, after four years of negotiations, when they concluded a new trade agreement in April. The agreement makes almost all goods exchanged between the two parties duty-free, but that does not mean that all differences of opinion have been put to bed. The agreement was adopted by the Council of the European Union on 28 September 2000, after the contracting parties stagnated the necessary notification to enter into force of the agreement and came into force on 1 October 2000. The agreement provides for the establishment of a joint committee (Article 70) to monitor and manage the agreement. Information sharing and consultations can take place in the joint committee. The joint committee also makes decisions in cases under the agreement or makes recommendations. The Joint Committee will also continue to examine the elimination of other barriers to trade between EFTA states and the further development of the agreement.