Laws & Labels

EU – Mexico: a good commercial agreement

Protection for 340 European Geographical Indications, 64 of which are Italian. Nine Italian PDO cheeses will be protected

The European Commission has reached an agreement to modernize the commercial agreement between the EU and Mexico. It is expected that it will lead to an improved market access for Italian products. According to an official statement by Italian dairies producers, Assolatte, from the economic point of view it is a good agreement: 99% of goods traded between the EU and Mexico will be free of duties, and 98% of these products will enjoy an immediate total tariff liberalization.

Good news for dairy sector

There is also important news for European cheeses: Gorgonzola and other blue cheeses will be exported without tariffs as soon as the agreement enters into force. A tariff quota of 5,000 tonnes is provided for fresh cheese – and 20,000 tonnes for mature cheese – all within five years of the entry into force of the agreement. The agreement provides for the protection of 340 European Geographical Indications, 64 of which are Italian. Nine PDO Italian cheeses will be protected: Asiago, Fontina, Gorgonzola, Grana Padano, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Provolone Valpadana, and Taleggio. The important developments about Geographical Indications reward our collaboration with the European institutions, says Giuseppe Ambrosi, president of Assolatte. The terms of the agreement are not yet official, but we can say that it is a much better agreement than the one signed with Japan, and we hope it will prove useful also for the negotiations with Mercosur.

A difficult negotiation

Although not fully satisfactory, stresses Assolatte, the EU-Mexico agreement is the result of difficult negotiations, strongly conditioned by pressure from Mexican and US industries which are already showing their disappointment. This is why we will remain vigilant until the end – concludes Ambrosi. The agreement with Japan has shown that we must not lower our guard: all it takes to distort the meaning of the agreement and give the go-ahead to counterfeiting is something written on the sidelines of a sheet of paper. Italy will now have to support the European Commission and demonstrate its strength and determination. Assolatte will continue to support institutions so that the good premises are not betrayed and a satisfactory agreement is reached for Italian PDO products: the most appreciated worldwide for the quality, for the explicit link with the territory, and for the mastery of our producers.