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The European Union and Mexico have agreed to “accelerate trade talks”, drawing a stark contrast to the US that has threatened to pull out of its main trade deal with its Latin American neighbour.

The move comes amid a “worrying rise of protectionism around the world,” said EU commissioner for trade, Cecilia Malmström, and the minister of economy of Mexico, Ildefonso Guajardo, in a joint statement.

While the statement stopped short of naming specific countries, it comes at a time when the US, under Donald Trump, has exited the Pacific trade agreement that was an important pillar of Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia. Mr Trump has also said he plans to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which governs trade between the US, Mexico and Canada.

The UK is also in the process of negotiating plans for its break from the EU that will have wide-ranging impacts on trade.

Mexico and the EU will “hold two additional negotiating rounds before the summer as part of an accelerated negotiation schedule for a new, reformed Free Trade Agreement,” according to the statement released on Wednesday.

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