It is never easy to put an international trade agreement over the line. Negotiations on the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement lasted seven years, while the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was originally developed in 1980, but was not ratified until 1993. Similarly, the signing of the agreement is only the beginning: trade agreements are subject to amendments and differences of opinion, as the recent GERangel in NAFTA showed. This special agreement was replaced at the beginning of July. On 28 April 2020, the EU and Mexico concluded the last outstanding element of negotiations on their new trade agreement, namely the exact scope of reciprocal opening of public procurement at the sub-central level. The chapter on the protection of intellectual property rights (Chapter VI, Article 69 and Appendix XXI) includes, among other things, patents, trademarks and copyrights and geographical indications. The level of protection in some areas goes beyond the level of protection established by the WTO agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property, taking into account the principles of treatment of the most favoured nation and national treatment. The agreement contains provisions for geographical indications. On 3 April 2017, Mexico and the European Union held the third round of negotiations in Brussels, Belgium, aimed at modernising their free trade agreement. On 8 May 2017, Mexico and the EU announced dates for the next three trade negotiations: 26-30 June, 25-29 September and 27 November to 1 December 2017. The fourth round of negotiations began on 26 June 2017 in Mexico City. The fifth round of negotiations consisted of 21 negotiating groups and concluded in Brussels on 2 October 2017.
The sixth round of negotiations on the modernization of the free trade agreement ended on December 5, 2017 in Mexico City. The parties have committed to liberalizing, for the most part, all sectors of trade and services, in accordance with Article V of the GATS. The „investment“ part (section V, Articles 45-49) essentially provides for the liberalisation and protection of certain payments and transfers related to foreign direct investment (Article 46) as well as the promotion of investment between the contracting parties (Article 47). However, the general incentives cited by De Biévre are generally not sufficient to encourage exporters, trade sectors and authorities on both sides to invest in one-year trade negotiations. Additional political incentives should give this general idea a final boost. The current update of the EU-Mexico agreement has been prompted to deepen and consolidate its commitment. Mexico and the EU have agreed to speed up trade negotiations to modernise their free trade agreement. They will hold two additional rounds of negotiations on April 3 and 7 and June 26-29, 2017, as part of an accelerated negotiating plan. The objectives of the agreement (Article 1) include the gradual liberalisation of trade in goods, in accordance with GATT Article XXIV, and the liberalisation of trade in services in accordance with Article V of the GATS. It is therefore a second-generation free trade agreement, which includes, in addition to trade in goods, trade in services, investment and public procurement. On 30 May 2016, Mexico and the European Union formally began talks to update their current free trade agreement.
The first round of negotiations for the modernization of the agreement was held in Brussels, Belgium, on 13 and 14 June 2016. The second round of negotiations for the modernization of the agreement was held in Mexico City from 22 to 25 November 2016. The Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement (Comprehensive Agreement), which sets out the objectives and mechanisms for liberalising trade in goods and services, was approved by the Mexican Senate on 20 March 2000 and by the European Parliament on 6 May 1999.