France bolsters investment and trade with the Pacific Alliance

Pacific Alliance, includes countries such as Mexico, Colombia and Peru, is a major exporter of raw materials, minerals and food. It has now opened its doors to more partners.

With U.S. President Donald Trump taking a more regressive, protectionist stance vis-à-vis the TPP, French President Francois Hollande stated he would seek to take steps to bolster investment and trade with the Pacific Alliance trade bloc in joint negotiations with the European Union.

The Pacific Alliance, consists of countries such as Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Chile. Essentially it is a vehicle aimed at boosting regional exports and attracting investment from Asia.

“France and Europe want to have a commercial relationship with the Pacific Alliance,” said Hollande in a statement after signing agreements on security, education and tourism with his Colombia counterpart Juan Manuel Santos.

“Europe and France together with the Pacific Alliance will launch commercial negotiations to be able to develop trade,” said Hollande.

Referring to Trump’s protectionist move, Hollande said while some countries were seeking to change trade agreement, Europe and France want to expand them.

He went on to add, Protectionism is “the worst response” to the challenges facing the world.

On January 23, 2017, Trump signed an executive order which formally withdraws the United States from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.

Trump is also seeking to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Significantly, the Pacific Alliance, which has now opened its doors to new partners, accounts for almost 39% of the GDP of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Its major exports include food, minerals and other raw materials and support a population of nearly 217 million people in its member countries.

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