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Mexico, Argentina sign extended agreement

The Associated Press/MEXICO CITY

Mexico, Argentina sign extended agreement

8 JUN. 2006

Mexico and Argentina signed an extended trade and investment agreement Thursday increasing the number of products given preferential tariff treatment by the two countries.

The deal covers agricultural goods, chemical products, machinery and tools, plastic products, rubber, metals and electrical goods, Mexico’s Economy Ministry said.

The ministry said the bilateral agreement, along with an automotive-sector accord, contributed to 17 percent growth in trade between the two countries last year to nearly US$1.8 billion (euro1.4 billion).

Mexico is a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement, while Argentina is in the Southern Cone trade bloc known as Mercosur.

The trade officials said the agreement also opens the door for Mexico to someday join Mercosur, which also includes Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

On Sunday, Mexico’s Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez will begin a five-day trip to South American to push for Mexico’s inclusion in Mercosur.

Mexico has been asking to join the bloc since as an associate member July 2004, but was told the country needed to develop its trade relationship with the region first.

 source: AP