50+ civil society organisations ask for halt to EU-Mexico trade talks
Trade talks between Mexico and the EU commenced this week as efforts intensify to update a free trade agreement signed in 2000. Serious concerns about transparency, human rights, and investor obligations saw more than fifty civil society organisations from Mexico and the EU articulate their concerns in a letter demanding a halt to negotiations until certain criteria are met.
Several independent studies have concluded that the current trade agreement has not delivered on sustainable development, job creation and the protection of human rights in Mexico. By updating the agreement, a major priority appears to be the deepening of investment rights, at the cost of public interest regulations and national legal systems. The talks, which are largely taking place behind closed doors, stand to deepen the imbalance between binding rights for corporations and voluntary guidelines when it comes to respect for human rights. There are also concerns about the consequences for small farmers and food sovereignty.
"The negotiating parties should learn from past mistakes and focus on a deal that promotes a new type of relations based on economic complementarity, full respect for human rights, and the right of governments to determine their own economic development models," said Cecilia Olivet, Researcher at the Transnational Institute.
The EU is hurrying to conclude the updated trade deal before the end of 2017.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
 Aguirre Reveles, Rodolfo and Pérez Rocha, Manuel (2007) The EU-Mexico Free Trade Agreement Seven Years On. A warning to the global South, https://www.tni.org/files/download/eumexicofta.pdf ; Villarreal, Jorge et.al (2008) Balance del Acuerdo Global entre México y la Unión Europea : a 8 años de su entrada en vigor, https://mx.boell.org/sites/default/files/balance_del_acuerdo_global_entre_mex_y_ue.pdf ; Becerra Pozos, Laura et.al. (2013) Las Relaciones México- Unión Europea en el marco del Acuerdo Global y la Asociación Estratégica : un balance desde la sociedad civil mexicana, http://www.equipopueblo.org.mx/descargas/MEX%20UE.pdf ; FDCL (2015) El Acuerdo Global entre la Unión Europea y México, https://www.fdcl.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/EL-ACUERDO-GLOBAL-ENTRE-LA-UNI%C3%93N-EUROPEA-Y-M%C3%89XICO_web.pdf ; Orozco Contreras, Marcela (2011) La reconquista europea : Balance a 10 años del Acuerdo Global México-UE, https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9o6rEg7TF-dNmFjVGJTQ3pBeTg/view