The EU prepares a new agreement with Mexico that could harm Spanish citrus

The European Union will update the economic association agreement with Mexico that had been concluded on April 28 with conditions that the Unió de Llauradors has denounced "can be very detrimental to the interests of Valencia's citrus sector." As such, the association requests that the effects of this update be studied and that the signature and ratification of the agreement be halted until its repercussions are known.

Until now, imports from Mexico have been regulated by the economic association agreement in force since 2000. This will change once the new trade agreement, which will benefit the Central American country, is definitively approved. Currently, the parties are discussing if tariffs should be eliminated, as Mexico wishes, or if they should be reduced, as intended by Europe.

Since 2010 there has been a notable increase in imports of Mexican citrus, especially lemons, which have reached an average of 3.6 million euro per year, while exports have been paralyzed in recent years. The protocol for exporting European citrus to Mexico is so strict that European exporters can't send any product to that market; meanwhile Mexican exporters have access to the European market. Spanish citrus fruits destined for Mexico must pay an administrative cost of €105 for each exported ton, which makes Spanish exports almost unfeasible. As a result, Spain has not exported to Mexico a single kilo of citrus since 2014, when the current protocol was implemented.

According to La Unió, Brussels is responsible for opening the EU's borders to imports from all over the world and the Member States are obliged to comply with the provisions of the EU agreements. Spain must accept the new trade agreement, "which means that the entry of Mexican citrus into the EU affects all member countries and is negotiated as a bloc."

However, Spanish exports to Mexico are negotiated and regulated bilaterally between both countries, without conditioning the previous advantages of the EU. As a result, the citrus trade balance between both countries is very negative for Spain.


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