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Mexico to join Trans-Pacific Partnership talks

President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderόn announced today that Mexico would join in the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Mexico becomes the tenth nation to join the negotiations.

Obama and Calderόn made the announcement at the G20 meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico.

The current TPP countries are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a news release that the administration soon officially will notify Congress of its intent to include Mexico in the TPP negotiations. The notification will trigger a 90-day consultation period with Congress on U.S. negotiating objectives with respect to Mexico. USTR also will publish a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comments.

The TPP countries have completed 12 rounds of negotiations. The next round of negotiations is scheduled to take place July 2–10 in San Diego, Calif.
President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama
“We are obviously two of our most important trading partners to each other, but we both recognize that growth is going to take place in the Asia Pacific region,” Obama said at a news conference.

“We are part of that network of nations that are growing and dynamic,” Obama said. “And for us now to be able to create a high standard trade agreement that further increases job opportunities, commercial opportunities, investment opportunities, I think will benefit citizens in both our countries that are eager to compete and to be able to prosper in a global market.”
President Felipe Calderόn

President Felipe Calderόn
“The invitation that is made to Mexico by these nine nations to join the negotiations of the TPP also recognizes Mexico’s efforts in trade and reaffirms Mexico’s weight within the new economic and international financial context,” Calderόn added.

“The fact that President Barack Obama has communicated to me that Mexico is being invited to join this negotiation is a sample of the solidarity of our relationships, and the joint, or shared, responsibility that President Obama has taken on in our bilateral agenda, as well as issues of competitiveness and greater trade,” Calderόn said. “Better and more trade is more jobs and growth for Mexicans, more growth and jobs for the United States as well. … I believe that the TPP and the United States’ support for Mexico’s joining the initiative opens a door to Mexico in the 21st century in terms of trade integration.”

The National Foreign Trade Council said in a news release that the inclusion of Mexico increases the likelihood of further reduction of barriers to trade and the negotiation of key issues in agriculture and sanitary and physosanitary standards as well as intellectual property rights and government procurement.

Bob McCan

Bob McCan
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President Bob McCan said in a news release, “Mexico is our second-largest export market and their participation in these negotiations is paramount.” TPP, he said, “could likely become much more than a multi-lateral free trade agreement.”

McCan said the United States should push for full and free market access to all TPP countries, and for prices “to be determined by market demand instead of being inflated by protectionist trade barriers,” particularly non-science based standards.

“We cannot afford to perpetuate politically-motivated standards as a justification for public safety,” McCan said.