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Brazil Unhappy with Argentina’s Policy on External Tariffs

According to Brazil, the decision by Argentina to maintain a list of exclusions from the common external tariff (CET) could complicate negotiations for the upcoming ministerial meeting of the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The meeting is scheduled to take place in Hong Kong, in December.

This is the view of the executive secretary of Brazil’s Foreign Trade Chamber (Camex), Mário Mugnaine, after a meeting Thursday, October 27. Last week Argentina announced its decision not to adhere to the policy of equal tariffs for capital goods and computerware. The policy is supposed to go into effect at the end of this year.

"We have to go through a mental exercise on how we are going to work together in the WTO," the secretary reflected, referring to the fact that the tariff negotiations in Hong Kong are carried out collectively, among blocs.

Mercosur resolutions 3403 and 3303 allow for lists of exclusions for 100 products in the Brazilian and Argentinean capital goods, computerware, and telecommunications sectors. They also determine that the two countries will suspend the lists and adopt a common tariff by the end of this year.

Mugnaine said that Brazil will wait for the meeting of the Common Market Group, set for November 23, in Montevideo (Uruguay), to respond to the Argentinean position.

But, if Brazil accepts postponing the deadline for tariff parity, it will propose an offsetting measure, such as a gradual reduction.

"We are absorbing this communication, and we shall evidently have to show up with plan A, B, or C. The present situation obliges us to comprehend Argentina’s recovery, but this does not mean that the demand placed on the table has been approved," he went on to say.

Agência Brasil

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