The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Celso Amorim, said yesterday that he believes Brazil should simply await the United States presidential elections before resuming negotiations over the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
He considered the negotiating process between the Mercosur and the European Union (EU) an apprenticeship for future negotiations. “The process with the EU allowed us to see a lot of things we hadn’t seen,” he revealed.
The Minister stressed the importance of South American integration, which, in his view, “is inevitable.”
“We shall not have a tranquil country, unless we have a tranquil region. Integration will occur, for better or worse. It will come about through contraband, drug traffic, and guerrilla warfare. Or it will be through trade, technology, and investment. Better for it to be the second way.”
Amorim pointed out that, for the United States, everything south of its borders is “South America,” and, if Argentina were to experience a severe crisis, the Brazil risk factor would certainly go up.
“Therefore, it is important that the Argentinean economy do well,” he remarked to exemplify the importance of South American unity.
Translator: David Silberstein