Edited By Gerhard Niedrist
The EU-Mexican FTA and Art. XXIV GATT
Both the European Union and Mexico have concluded numerous preferential trade agreements with a variety of partners in the world. According to the most recent data from the WTO, the European Union currently has 27 preferential trade agreements in force and Mexico eleven (WTO, 2011). The most notable agreements include the European Economic Area between the EFTA states and the EU, the agreements between the European Union and its neighbors in the Mediterranean region, and in the case of Mexico the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and the United States from 1994.
However, the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union from 1997 is also noteworthy for several reasons. Firstly, it grants the European Union preferential access to the NAFTA region and is therefore strategically very important to the European Union. The agreement is also Mexico’s first preferential agreement after the conclusion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 and represents an important step in the process of liberalization and economic opening of the country since the late nineties. Finally, the EU-Mexican FTA is worldwide one of the first cases of a cross-regional preferential agreement. That means it involves not just neighboring countries (and is thus a regionalist policy), but establishes free trade between different continents. As a consequence, the EU-Mexican Free Trade Agreement can also be seen as in important piece in a general proliferation of free trade agreements. While in the early nineties only about 50...
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