VDMA: mechanical engineering industry sees opportunities of free trade with Mexico

Few industries need open markets as much as the mechanical engineering sector. VDMA is therefore supporting efforts by the European Commission to open up further growth markets for Europe through free trade agreements. On 13 and 14 June, the first round of negotiations took place in Brussels about strengthening the agreement with Mexico.

Few industries need open markets as much as the mechanical engineering sector. VDMA is therefore supporting efforts by the European Commission to open up further growth markets for Europe through free trade agreements. On 13 and 14 June, the first round of negotiations took place in Brussels about strengthening the agreement with Mexico. In the opinion of VDMA, a comprehensive agreement could open up new opportunities for the mechanical engineering sector and European industry as a whole. From the association's viewpoint, it is important that the mostly indiscriminate criticism of the TTIP trade agreement does not lead to an outright rejection of free trade in Europe.

"The EU's free trade agenda is and remains correct. Europe's companies must have access to the growth markets in Asia and the USA. It would be dangerous if every attempt to reach a free trade agreement in future is denigrated as a matter of course", said Thilo Brodtmann, VDMA's executive director. "Despite the old free trade agreement between the EU and Mexico, trade in German mechanical engineering products with Mexico is being held back mainly by divergent technical rules and authorisation procedures. In this regard, our companies would benefit from modernisation and closer cooperation. On the other hand, Mexico could invest more easily in modern technologies from Europe, and expand its trade relations."

Trade in mechanical engineering products with Mexico has doubled since 2000 from € 1.16 billion to € 2.61 billion (2015). In the ranking of export markets, Mexico came in 19th place last year, putting it behind India (17th) and Slovakia (18th) and ahead of Saudi Arabia and Brazil. The negotiations between the EU and Mexico are part of a comprehensive free trade strategy by the European Commission. Besides the agreement with the USA (TTIP) and Canada (CETA), negotiations are ongoing - at different stages - with Mercosur, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

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