Mexico and Argentina 'laying groundwork for free trade agreement'

Mexico and Argentina 'laying groundwork for free trade agreement'

A bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between Mexico and Argentina could be on the cards following efforts to deepen the economic partnership between the nations.

Leaders from both countries have met at the Argentina-Mexico Economic Forum in Buenos Aires to expand the scope of the Acuerdo de Complementación Económica (ACE 6) commercial accord, which has been in effect since 1987.

ACE 6 lays out reduced tariffs for about 30 to 40 percent of Argentine products sold on the Mexican market, but efforts are now being launched to increase that proportion to 100 percent, with the aim of achieving full implementation of free trade within five to ten years.

The ACE 6 framework also incorporates a number of stipulations pertaining to principles regarding trade. Both countries regard the expansion of this accord to be an essential first step towards a deeper trade relationship.

Argentina's president Mauricio Macri said: "Starting from the deepening of the ACE 6, we hope to have a free trade agreement next year."

Mexico's leader Enrique Pena Nieto concurred, adding that the current talks will "allow us in the not-too-distant future to aspire to a larger agreement and one of free trade".