September 1, 2017 / 10:39 PM / in 10 months

Brazil, Mexico hold talks on broadening trade pact

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil and Mexico discussed ways to broaden their existing trade agreement by including new products and fine-tuning preferential tariffs on bilateral trade, as Latin America’s top two economies try to strengthen their ties.

Diplomats and officials from both countries held meetings in Mexico City between Aug. 29 and Aug. 31, Brazil’s foreign relations ministry said on Friday. A broad range of trade issues including food safety, excessive bureaucracy, intellectual property and controversy solution mechanisms were part of the discussions, it said.

“Brazil and Mexico are negotiating a significant enlargement of the preferable tariffs agreement, with the inclusion of new products from agriculture to manufacture,” Brazil’s ministry said in a statement.

Brazil-Mexico talks finished a day before Mexican officials started a meeting with negotiators from the United States and Canada to re-evaluate the North American Free Trade Agreement. U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to pull out of the regional trade pact.

Brazil’s foreign ministry said trade between the two countries totaled $7.34 billion last year, with Brazil exports accounting for $3.81 billion of the total.

Brazilian exports to Mexico jumped 19 percent in the January-July period compared with the same period last year, the ministry said.

Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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