Argentine Congress confirms Mercosur/Israel free trade agreement
The Argentine congress ratified this week the free trade agreement between Mercosur and Israel. The accord subscribed in 2007 and already passed by the Senate, was approved in the Lower House by 144 votes, 8 nays and 10 abstentions.
With the Argentine approval the accord becomes effective since all the other Mercosur members, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay had already voted legislative confirmation.
“Congratulations to all members of the Lower House for having approved the trade treaty between Israel and Mercosur” said Argentine Foreign Affairs minister Hector Timerman in his twitter. Timerman is scheduled to visit Israel in April.
The Mercosur/Israel free trade agreement was sealed in December 2007 and is the first between the South American block and a country outside Latinamerica.
Negotiations were started in 2005 when Israel and Mercosur subscribed a framework agreement to reach an understanding on liberalizing trade. The accord covers 90% of bilateral trade with a calendar of progressive tariff reductions in four phases: immediate, 4, 8 and 10 years.