In 1997, the EU and Mexico signed an agreement on economic partnership, political coordination and cooperation. It included a part of the trade, which mainly opened up the trade in goods. This trade agreement came into force in 2000. The part of the Trade in Services Agreement came into force in 2001. Nearly two decades later, it is time to update the agreement. The EU and Mexico already have a lot to do: Mexico has a number of partial agreements, which are integration agreements with more limited free trade coverage than a free trade agreement (see Table 1). Mexico is a party to the Agreement on the Global System of Trade Preferences between Developing Countries (GSTP). The GSTP was introduced in 1988 as a framework for the exchange of trade preferences between developing countries to promote trade between developing countries. The agreement provides tariff preferences for trade in goods between Member States.
It is a treaty to which only a group of 77 Member States is allowed to join.43 The text of the agreement was adopted after a round of negotiations concluded in Belgrade in 1988. The agreement, which came into force on 19 April 1989, was conceived as a dynamic instrument that should be extended and reviewed regularly in successive rounds of negotiations.44 A second round of negotiations was proposed in the early 1990s to extend trade preferences, but negotiations were stalled because members did not ratify the agreement. In June 2004, GSTP participants launched a third round of negotiations. Forty-four countries have joined the agreement.45 Economic motivations are generally the main driver of free trade agreements between countries, but there are other reasons why countries enter into free trade agreements, including political and security factors. One of Mexico`s main motivations for its unilateral effort to liberalize trade in the late 1980s and early 1990s was improved economic conditions in the country, which policymakers hoped would boost investor confidence, attract more foreign investment and create jobs. Mexico may also have other reasons for entering into free trade agreements, such as expanding market access and reducing its dependence on the United States as an export market. The slow progress of multilateral trade negotiations can also contribute to increased global interest in bilateral and regional free trade agreements under the World Trade Organization (WTO). Some countries may view smaller trade agreements as “building blocks” of multilateral agreements. Regardless of the choice of a Member State, the trade agreement with Mexico or the Lisbon Treaty, the free trade agreement between Mexico and Panama came into force on 1 July 2015.