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EU treaty with Mexico rushed through

23 April 2018

EU treaty with Mexico rushed through

For the SP, the revised trade treaty with Mexico that the European Commission concluded during the weekend represents a huge disappointment when seen from the point of view of the protection of human rights or ethical business practice. “Obviously the European Commission finds getting one over on President Trump of more importance than fulfilling its own ambitions in relation to fair trade,” says SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur. “One after another, free trade agreements are being signed at a murderous pace, while existing free trade and globalisation are increasing inequality across the world.”

Mexico has an extremely bad reputation in relation to human rights, and the number of disappearances and violent incidents in the country is growing. Mexico stands in 135th place in the league table of 180 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index. While there is a sanction mechanism included in the treaty, it remains the question whether it is sufficient to protect human rights, which was among the demands made recently by MEPs. The mechanisms in the original treaty turned out to be a dead letter. Mexico also falls short in relation to the ratification of a range of international agreements and conventions. A toothless treaty will do nothing to change Mexico's culture of corruption and impunity which the county has faced for decades. In addition, the Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA), which the Commission was supposed to have performed beforehand, and which assesses the impact of the treaty on, among other things, human rights, was begun only a short while ago and has still not been completed. That is against the Commission's own rules and even contravenes the Lisbon Treaty.

The European Union already has a limited trade treaty with Mexico, but this new agreement represents a massive extension of this, including as it does the liberalisation of services such as financial service provision and telecommunications. In addition, the controversial Investment Court System (ICS) will also form part of the treaty. The European Commission is pursuing a large number of negotiations with indecent haste, at the cost across the world of fair trade principles and human rights. Last week it was the turn of Japan and Singapore, and shortly the Mercosur countries – Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay – are expected to sign up to a treaty. At the same time, negotiations on the TTIP treaty with the United States may be reopened.

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