Reuters | 8 November 2010
Mexico, Brazil launch talks toward bilateral trade deal
SAO PAULO/MEXICO CITY, Nov 8 (Reuters) — Brazil and Mexico said on Monday they would start talks toward a bilateral trade deal in a bid to draw Latin America’s top two economies closer together.
The agreement caps more than a decade of attempts to deepen ties between the two countries, whose business sectors are separated by language and cultural differences.
"The agreement will be broad and include services, investment, government procurement and intellectual property as well as tariffs, among others," the countries’ governments said in a joint statement.
Bi-lateral trade between Mexico and Brazil totaled $5.9 billion in 2009 — only little more than 1 percent of Mexico’s total trade, which is primarily with the United States. Brazil’s commerce is focused on China, its South American neighbors and Europe.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called the size of the countries’ trade balance "a disgrace" back in February, when he and Mexican President Felipe Calderon launched the idea of a trade deal.
Overtures to eliminate tariffs have raised concerns among Mexican farmers, who feel they may not stand up to Brazil’s agricultural might, as well as industrial groups that are uncertain what the benefits a deal could bring. (Reporting by Michael O’Boyle; Editing by Dan Grebler)