Irish boost from Mexico trade deal

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The European Commission said the simpler customs procedures will further benefit the EU's agricultural industry.

The European Commission is urging a "swift conclusion and a quick implementation of the most important trade agreement ever negotiated by the EU" - with the agreement due to be signed at the upcoming EU-Japan Summit in Brussels by the summer.

Mexico is Ireland's largest trading partner in Latin America, with over €1.7 billion worth of trade carried out previous year.

Since its plans for a trade alliance with the U.S. were frozen after Mr Trump's election victory, the European Union has focused on trying to champion open markets and seal accords with other like-minded countries.

In a joint statement by the secretariats of Foreign Affairs and Economy, the Mexican government said the agreement in principle includes political, economic and cooperation aspects that "will allow political dialogue to be strengthened and increase trade and investment flows".

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Mexico faces a challenge with the United States and Canada in overhauling NAFTA.

Next week, the EU intends to begin free trade negotiations with MERCOSUR (the economic Union of countries in Latin America). "Our negotiators will now continue their work to resolve the remaining technical issues and finalize the full legal text so that our citizens and enterprises can start reaping its benefits as soon as possible".

"We expect that this deal will give us the potential to grow that substantially into a country that is adding one million people a year to the population, as well as having an expanding upper and middle class", Mr Mulvihill said.

On Wednesday, the European Union unveiled plans to fast-track deals with Japan and Singapore, saying it was leading the defence of free trade in the face of USA "protectionism".

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