World Bulletin / News Desk
The EU and Mexico on Wednesday said they would accelerate free trade talks amid a wave of protectionist threats by US President Donald Trump.
The Trump administration has also bashed Germany, the EU's most powerful country, accusing Berlin on Tuesday of manipulating the euro to win advantage for its export-driven economy at the expense of the US.
"Together, we are witnessing the worrying rise of protectionism around the world," the EU's top trade negotiator, Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said in a joint statement.
"Side-by-side, as like-minded partners, we must now stand up for the idea of global, open cooperation," they said.
Mexico and the EU have had a trade deal since 2000 but agreed in 2015 to modernise the accord to better reflect today's global economy.
With a fresh deal, Mexico wants to show that "they can reach agreements with other partners," an EU official following Latin America told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"In the last two weeks, we saw a change of the language and the change of the language is: We want to do it very quickly," the official added.
The statement said two rounds of talks would take place in April and June. Negotiators will be focused on adapting the Mexican accord to a more ambitious deal linking the EU with Canada, Mexico's other partner in NAFTA.
The rows between Trump and Mexico have been fierce since the real estate tycoon's arrival in office. Guajardo warned last week that Mexico was not afraid to dump NAFTA if discussions with the US should become bogged down.
Meanwhile, Trump advisor Peter Navarro told the Financial Times Tuesday that a planned deal linking the EU and the US -- the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership -- was dead.Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Şubat 2017, 16:51