Brazil raised to the maximum the common external tariff, AEC, that Mercosur charges on imported goods from out of the zone. The decree was published in Monday’s edition of the Official Gazette and includes a hundred goods.
Currently those goods are levied in the range of 12% to 13% of their export value, but since the publication, they have been slapped with the maximum AEC, 35%, allowed by the World Trade Organization.
According to the arguments of the decree, the resource is used to prevent imports considered ‘predatory’ for the domestic industries of Mercosur country members.
Last month Argentina’s Foreign Affairs minister Hector Timerman had advanced that the Argentine government would propose, at the next Mercosur summit June 28 that the maximum AEC, 35%, should be applied to all exports into the block.
Argentina for months has been implementing measures to control the influx of imports to defend its trade surplus which is crucial for a country cut off from the international volunteer money market, because of pending law suits and demands from the major sovereign default dating back to 2001/02.
Although Uruguay, together with Paraguay, junior members of the group that has become increasingly a two member exclusive club (Argentina and Brazil) still has to make a public statement on the issue, Industry and Energy minister Roberto Kreimerman on a business and investment promotion tour in Australia, told a reporter in the delegation that the latest Brazilian decision “it’s not the ideal for Uruguay”, given the impact this will have on local manufacturers that need overseas inputs to function.
“Whenever there is a request from an associate (Mercosur) we must analyze it, but in Uruguay we must address the issue from the fact we are a small country with an open economy, where production and manufacturing indexes much depend on the inputs we bring from overseas, particularly third countries out of the region”, said Kreimerman.
“Our vision of the problem is far more specific” concluded the minister.
In Montevideo several government officials, including Foreign Affairs minister Luis Almagro and Deputy Finance minister Luis Porto, have publicly stated that Uruguay will consider the situation when it is an official proposal.