A new accord between Argentina and Mexico has come in force as from January 1st whereby they increased to about 1,500 the number of bilateral trade products with a sliding scale that will lead to zero tariff in ten years time, Argentina's Foreign Affairs ministry said.
The agreement to broaden the bilateral Economic Complementation Accord (ACE 6) clinched in August 2006, will boost bilateral trade by more than 350 million dollars, state-run Argentine news agency Télam said. It added that bilateral trade currently stands at about two billion dollars, accounted for Argentine exports for about 1.1 billion dollars and Mexican exports for about 800 million dollars. The accord applies mainly to the chemical, plastic, steel, rubber, electric and mechanical devices, informatics and communication and graphic sectors, as well as to a small number of agricultural products, the Foreign Affairs ministry said. "In many of those sectors there is an important industrial complementarity degree between Argentina and Mexico. All products will benefit from a 100% (tariff) preference within a maximum term of ten years," the statement said. It added that Argentina hopes to further widen the list of products so as to cover all sectors of Argentine export products, either be widening the ACE 6 or by means of a free trade agreement between Mexico and the Mercosur trade bloc, of which Argentina is a full member together with Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. The accord coming in force this month allows Argentine exporters equal footing conditions to those of other regional countries that have also signed trade agreements with Mexico over the last few years, added the official release. Besides the incorporation of new products to the tariff preference list, the legal framework applying to them has been strengthened and clarified, including a new regime to determine the origin of products. Argentina announced that the accord entered in force after the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI, in its Spanish acronym) told both countries that all legal details had been completed. Télam said that the new accord mainly benefits small- and medium-sized Argentine provincial industries. It added that despite Mexico's high degree of tariff protection, Argentina managed to also include in the preference agreement products such as olives, canned peaches, frozen hake, squid and sardines, prunes and concentrated soups. It said that the accord will mean that in ten years time both countries will have zero tariff for about 60% of their bilateral trade. (MercoPress - Guillermo Háskel)