At G-20, Mexico joins negotiations for next generation trade deal with Asia

The Trans-Pacific Partnership – including the US, Vietnam, and seven other countries – was a priority for Mexico. It includes labor rights and small business development.

Eduardo Verdugo/AP
China's President Hu Jintao, left, greets Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon during the opening ceremony of the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, Monday, June 18.

• A version of this post ran on the author's blog, The views expressed are the author's own.

On the sidelines of the G20, the United States formally invited Mexico to join negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Coverage from Reuters, McClatchy, AQ.
For Mexican President Felipe Calderon, involvement in the TPP was an economic priority. The organization is seen as a more modern trade agreement that includes labor rights, small business development, and other efforts that go beyond tariff negotiations to try to place the countries on a more level playing field.
The NYT recently reported on how Mexico stacks up against Brazil in terms of economic influence. Among the differences between the two countries is how they relate to China, with Brazil benefiting while Mexico competes. With the TPP, Mexico moves beyond competition with China for the North American market by negotiating this agreement with Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore, pushing its competition with China onto new turf.

The TPP also strengthens Calderon's version of how Mexico fits into the hemisphere. Calderon was already instrumental in building the Pacific Alliance with Chile, Peru, and Colombia. He invited the presidents of Chile and Colombia to participate in the G20 meeting. Calderon sees a strategy to strengthen that section of Latin America and move it towards a Pacific focus and the TPP fits right into that.

– James Bosworth is a freelance writer and consultant who runs Bloggings by Boz.

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