UK and Mexico sign new trade deal

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The UK has today signed a trade deal with Mexico, locking in tariff-free trade and other benefits for British businesses and consumers.

The UK-Mexico Trade Continuity Agreement will particularly benefit the automotive, pharmaceutical, textiles, agriculture, food and drink industries and other manufacturing industries – the sectors where the UK has the highest amount of trade with Mexico.

Both countries have also committed to start negotiating a new free trade agreement next year.

Around 3,800 UK businesses export goods to Mexico, which the OECD expects to become one of the world’s 10 largest economies within a generation and which has a market of over 130 million consumers.

This agreement guarantees UK businesses the certainty they need to operate in the Mexican market. It could save around £59m worth of duties that would have been levied on UK exports to Mexico under WTO terms.

Tariffs on UK car exports will remain at 0%, compared to up to 20% under WTO terms. This could save around £29m in duties in 2021 on UK exports of vehicles. Tariffs applied to UK beverage exports – such as wine, beer, cider, gin and tea – also remain at 0% compared to up to 20% under WTO terms.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “This deal supports a trading relationship worth more than £5bn and locks in access to each other’s markets.

“We look forward to working together with our Mexican friends and allies on a new and ambitious trade agreement in 2021. This will allow our two countries to go much further in areas such as data, digital trade, investment, intellectual property and services.

“This is also the seventh trade deal we’ve secured with a member of CPTPP, the grouping of 11 dynamic economies around the Pacific. So, it’s another really important stepping stone toward the UK joining CPTPP, and I look forward to making our application to do just that early next year.

“Together we’ll enjoy even more success by seizing this opportunity to take our trade to new heights. International Trade will help us to overcome the challenges of coronavirus and drive economic growth across our United Kingdom.”

Industry reaction

Andy Burwell, CBI Director of International trade, said: “All credit goes to DIT officials at home and in market for securing another important trade deal with Mexico. This deal should be seen as a starting point and can set a positive tone to strike a much more comprehensive agreement tailored to UK priorities in the future. Whether gaining market access for services firms or advancing digital trade, there’s a lot of potential for government and business to uncover.”

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “Today’s announcement that the UK is signing a Continuity Agreement with Mexico is excellent news for exporters of British gin. Gin is one of the UK’s most important and fastest growing food and drink exports and Mexico is one of our key target growth markets. In 2019, we exported nearly £6.5m worth of gin to Mexico, an increase of 43% on the previous year.

“Today’s news that UK exporters will retain tariff free access on gin exports, means Mexico will continue to be one of the biggest trade opportunities for our gin exporters, both big and small. We would like to commend DIT on more great work to secure these important continuity agreements for British exports.”

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