• Categories
  • Archives

After 15 Years of Talks, 2015 Could See a Mercosur-EU’s Free Trade Agreement

Mercosur Once the EU and Mercosur exchange their proposals for a free trade agreement, negotiations will ‘move fast’ and the deal should be closed sometime in 2015, according to EU ambassador in Montevideo, Juan Fernandez Trigo. But he also pointed out that he expected Mercosur proposal to be in accordance with terms established in 2010. 

“We’re in the midst of that traffic, which is receiving each other’s proposal and from that moment onwards I believe negotiations will move fast”, said Fernandez Trigo, who added that “we expect that the Mercosur proposal on tariffs reduction will be on terms agreed back in 2010 and means that 90% of the universe of goods to the exchanged will be free of tariffs”.

At the end of July four of Mercosur five full members, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, agreed on an only joint proposal to be presented to EU countries.

However the delay cannot be attribute entirely to Mercosur, since European Commission recently nominated authorities and they will be taking office next November and only then there will be a calendar of meetings for the exchange of proposals, to take place most probably during 2015.

Even when EU sources said that the change of authorities will not interfere with the negotiations, Mercosur sources believe that there will “naturally be a slowing down of the process”.

Alvaro Ons head of the Mercosur office at the Uruguayan foreign affairs ministry was quoted saying that if there is not a clear commitment for the exchange of proposals, “it’s hard to be optimistic” about an agreement between the two blocks in the short term.

Mercosur has already announced that it is ready to exchange proposals and is waiting for Europe. “EU must confirm it is ready for the exchange of proposals”, but “we know that there is also resistance in the EU, among some of its members regarding agriculture”, pointed out Uruguayan sources.

EU/Mercosur negotiations have been going on since 1999, with a six year interruption until 2010 when talks were resumed with the target of exchanging proposals by the end of 2013. Which obviously did not happen.

However Argentina’s protectionist measures to defend its domestic industry and rein in imports, which were taken to the World Trade Organization by the US, EU, Japan and other leading trading countries, have become a great obstacle for the negotiations. Argentina fears losing the lucrative Brazilian market to cheaper more competitive products from Europe.

Last March the Europeans were disappointed with the Mercosur proposal which demanded a seven year grace period to begin the reduction of tariffs, initiative sponsored by Argentina and rejected point blank by the EU. In another incident the EU asked Mercosur to clarify which countries were effectively involved in the negotiations, and at some point even Brazil’s patience run out.

In effect, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff was not only furious with Argentina’s attitude but also with the EU for blaming Mercosur since it was known that France, Hungary and Ireland among others, had problems in supporting the EU proposal, plus the fact that the new European parliament is crowded with political organizations that blame free trade for the EU crisis.

Fernandez Trigo after recalling that EU/Mercosur trade is 125 billion dollars and EU investment in the area 280 billion, admitted that countries need to reach “a balance that sometimes is hard to come about”.

“We must remember that negotiations have been on for 15 years and when we started the EU had 15 member states and Mercosur four. The EU now has 28 members and this complicates negotiations”, said the EU ambassador.

Likewise Fernandez Trigo discarded one-to-one free trade negotiations, as sometimes it was suggested in Mercosur given the reluctance of Argentina.

“It will only further complicate the process. One must be realistic and concentrate in a two blocks negotiation. The other option is but speculation that only delays the whole process”.

Mercopress

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

In Brazil, Agribusiness Is Down But Meat Exports Are Up

Meat exports rose 10.7% in Brazil, in January, compared with the same month of ...

Truck Drivers Drafted Into Brazil’s War on Child Labor

Approximately 20,000 truck drivers in Brazil will receive information on how to identify and ...

EU Promises Brazil It Will End Sugar Subsidies in May

In a note issued on Friday, October 28, the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations ...

Brazil Goes After Middle East Petrodollars

The São Paulo Stock Exchange (Bovespa) expects greater presence of Middle Eastern investment in ...

Brazil Confident to Strengthen Leadership in World’s Meat Market

While meat and chicken exports from Brazil are recovering at a slower pace than ...

New USAID Director in Brazil Will Oversee US$ 11 Million Budget

 The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today, June 30, the swearing in ...

Well, I’ll Be Damned! The Drummer Was Right After All!

Never print anything in haste, or in anger, I always say. Well, maybe the ...

G-77 Main Theme Is Brazil’s Proposal for a Revamped UN

Developing countries should come to a common conclusion regarding the UN reform so as ...

Carrefour supermarket in Brazil

Carrefour Becomes Largest Supermarket Group in Brazil

The French group Carrefour has signed an agreement to acquire the Brazilian supermarket chain ...

Rousseff Says Brazil Is Just Protecting Itself While US Is Distorting World Trade

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, carrying on a tradition since 1947 at the United Nations ...