The EU`s first free trade agreements with Latin American countries were the 2000 Global Agreement with Mexico and the 2005 Association Agreement with Chile. Well beyond the framework of an outright free trade agreement, the Association Agreement and the Comprehensive Agreement also provide a broad contractual basis for political dialogue, economic relations and economic cooperation. On 21 April 2018, the EU and Mexico reached an agreement in principle on the key elements of a trade component of a modernised global agreement between the EU and Mexico. Among the details is the future exemption from customs duties for 99% of trade between the EU and Mexico. Transitional periods and quotas are first provided for certain agricultural goods. A total of 340 EU foods are protected by geographical designations of origin. Disputes between investors and states must be settled by a publicly legitimized investment court. The new agreement must cover not only market access, but also issues such as sustainability, regulatory cooperation and the fight against corruption. Once the final technical details have been clarified, the modernised agreement will have to be signed, approved by the Council and the European Parliament and ratified by the Member States. Since November 2017, the EU has also been negotiating with Chile to modernise the existing Association Agreement.

The aim is to introduce provisions on the fight against corruption, support for SMEs and sustainable development (social and environmental standards). The trade part of the EU Association Agreement with Central America entered into force provisionally at the end of 2013. With the Association Agreement BETWEEN the EU and Central America, the EU concluded such an agreement for the first time with an entire region. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama are all involved in the agreement. The EU`s plurilateral agreement with Colombia and Peru entered into force provisionally in 2013. Ecuador acceded to the agreement in January 2017. On 28 June 2019, after almost 20 years, the European Commission successfully concluded negotiations with the Mercosur countries of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay on the free trade part of the Association Agreement. Negotiations have taken place with some interruptions since 1999. The Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) was included in the regulatory framework for international trade in 1994 and is one of the WTO`s most important instruments. . . .