Brazil wants to leave Mercosur unchanged and opposes Uruguay

At a press conference at the conclusion of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Amorim strongly opposed Uruguay’s 1991 decision to negotiate bilateral trade agreements without the approval of the Mercosur partners. Argentina, BrazilParaguay and Uruguay.

Amorim said the day before Lula’s official visit to his Montevideo counterpart, Luis Lacalle Pou, “Uruguay is in many ways an example of Latin American courtesy and very progressive in many ways, but we think Mercosur should be preserved.”

Amorim said, ‘Let’s talk. There is a common external tariff within the concept of protection. This is not something Brazil or Argentina don’t want, the first article of the Treaty of Asunción,” agreed Amorim, who served as foreign minister during his first two presidencies (2003).

This article of Mercosur’s founding text endorses “the adoption of a common external tariff and the adoption of a common commercial policy vis-à-vis third countries or groups of countries, and the coordination of positions in regional or international economic and trade forums”.

Mercosur has a common external tariff with various “gaps” or exemptions. Argentina and Brazil have lowered that rate with an agreement between the two governments in 2021.

The article also recommends lifting “non-tariff restrictions on the movement of goods”, a problem that Uruguay says is not always resolved within the bloc.

Amorim explained that partners “can buy industrial products from Uruguay or encourage Uruguay to participate in the supply chain,” Amorim said. “We want to keep the Asuncion agreement as written, but we recognize that small countries need some support.” including the automotive industry.

But the situation in Uruguay is very different.

President Lacalle Pou recalled at a press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that the “definition” of opening his country’s trade to third countries was accepted by several governments in Uruguay.

He decided to move forward with a free trade agreement with China, signaling his interest in negotiating with Uruguay. The two countries are advancing in negotiations after conducting a feasibility study, and tensions are high for Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, which have even threatened Montevideo with legal and commercial action.

Lacalle Pou confirmed that other partners have no objection to joining the deal with the Asian giant, pointing out that “Mercosur is the fifth most protected region in the world”.

The Uruguayan president reiterated that his country is not “pro-active”. “We never said we would leave Mercosur,” he stressed.

Uruguay has also applied to join the Transpacific Treaty.

The partners also disagree on Venezuela’s re-entry into Mercosur, backed by Brazil and Argentina.

Caracas was expelled from the South American bloc in 2017 pending the “full restoration of democratic order in the Caribbean country” under the Ushuaia protocol.

Lula has lunch with Lacalle Pou in Montevideo on Wednesday. Amorim is part of the delegation of the President of Brazil on his first trip abroad.

The diplomat claimed the meeting would be “the first meeting” with the Uruguayan government.

Source: AFP

Source: Ultimahora

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