Sweeping EU trade deal with Mexico seen as signal to US

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto chat as they tour the Hannover Messe fair where Mexico is this year's guest country in Hannover, northern Germany, Monday, April 23, 2018. (Julian Stratenschulte/dpa via AP)

BRUSSELS — The European Union says a sweeping new trade deal with Mexico is a signal to the rest of the world — including the Trump administration.

EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malstrom said Monday that the preliminary deal, agreed on Saturday and to be finalized this year, is a "powerful signal to the whole world."

She said it shows that "with increasing protectionism in certain parts of the world, many of us do believe good trade agreements can be made ... to the benefit of consumers and companies."

The deal comes as Trump's America-first policies have thrown U.S.-Mexico trade into uncertainty and stalled efforts for a U.S.-EU trade deal.

The EU-Mexico deal removes tariffs on cheese, chocolate, pasta and other foods. It updates and expands a two-decade-old agreement to include financial services and online commerce, among other sectors.

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