Friday, December 14th 2012 - 04:45 UTC

‘Argentina’s behaviour’ main obstacle for EU/Mercosur trade talks says Brussels

The European Union Trade Commissioner openly accused “Argentina’s behaviour” as the main obstacle in discussions to advance and reach a free trade agreement with Mercosur.

Argentina’s protectionist policies ‘forced as to file complaints at WTO’, argued de Gucht

“I can’t understand why they insisted so much in reopening negotiations in 2010 and now some of its members display a behaviour that does not help the negotiations”, said Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht on Thursday speaking to the press in Geneva

“We were forced to go to the World Trade Organization against Argentina in several complaints together with the US, Japan and Mexico, which obviously does not help with the adequate climate for a negotiation that leads us to a free trade agreement”, added the Commissioner.

In the last six months, Argentina has been demanded in seven complaints at the WTO as a result of a trade war which was triggered by the imports’ restriction policy imposed by the administration of Cristina Fernandez and which several countries consider as ‘protectionist’ and contrary to the spirit of free trade.

The debate and complaints from many WTO members became a fact when on 25 May the EU decided to formalize a consultation process with Argentina on the issue. This was followed by President Cristina Fernandez administration decision to nationalize a majority stake in Spain’s oil corporation Repsol, so far with no compensation.

Buenos Aires again reacted on 20 August filing complaints against the EU and Spain because of alleged damaging restrictions to imports of Argentine bio-diesel. A day later the US and Japan did something similar but complaining about Argentina’s restrictive imports’ policy and ‘balanced trade’ demanded from corporations operating in the country.

Nevertheless De Gucht said he was hopeful about the next EU/Mercosur meeting, scheduled for January in Santiago de Chile on the sides of the leaders’ summit of the Community of Latam and Caribbean states, CELAC

“We hope that in the next meeting we can make some positive advances”, although he also pointed out that “the ball is now in the South American court”.

“We are expecting Mercosur to tell us they are willing to negotiate. Although the truth is we need them to tell us what their position in the goods and services chapters is. We’ve advanced enormously in rules and regulations, but we are still waiting for their proposal regarding goods and services” revealed de Gucht.

This statement sound completely opposite to what Argentite president CFK said at the latest Mercosur summit, where she stated that South American countries are waiting first to know the true intentions of EU, before sitting down to talk.

Next January 24, President Rousseff will be hosting in Brasilia EC president Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, the head of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy and de Gucht. The meeting will take place following the CELAC summit.

The EU 27 members and Mercosur re-launched, in May 2010, negotiations for a free trade agreement after six years of stalled discussions. The EU complained about tariffs on industrial goods and likewise Mercosur complained about EU agriculture tariffs, subsidies and protectionism.
Mercosur is made up of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela and Paraguay currently suspended, while Bolivia at the moment an associate member has started talks to become a full member.

26 comments Feed

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1 Think (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 05:08 am Report abuse

“I can’t understand why they insisted so much in reopening negotiations in 2010 and now some of its members display a behaviour that does not help the negotiations” says Mr. De Gucht .........”

Well Mr. De Gucht .......
That's maybe because that was two and half years ago and the economical situation in Mercosur was quite different in 2010.....
But don't you worry...... We will reach an agreement.... Eventually ;-)
2 Iron Man (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 07:01 am Report abuse
No 1 - nonsense as usual. Yet another setback for Argentine 'diplomacy'. You will be attempting to undo the harm that CFK is doing to your country's standing in the world for decades, if not generations. It may feel to you like the right thing to do is 'support' your country through thick and thin; in reality in doing so you are part of the problem. More than ever, all countries are part of an interconnected world; Argentina is the problem neighbour that keeps getting ASBOs and just ignoring them. A day of reckoning will come.
3 toooldtodieyoung (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 07:27 am Report abuse
1 Think

With Argentina's ecomony in the toilet, you'd better start praying that they reach an agreement soon, before you loose everything.....

I'm sure that KFC is enjoying playing “Deal or no Deal” on an international level, but these arepeoples lives she is play with.
4 GALlamosa (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 10:59 am Report abuse
This has long been predictable and now comes from a senior EC source. Next step will be Brazil will do its own thing (followed by the decline into irrelevance of Mercosur).
5 Brit Bob (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 11:36 am Report abuse
Argentina has more international trade disputes running than any other country; is the World's top protectionist country, and is regarded as a pariha state by international money lenders. For more good news on Argentina : -
6 yankeeboy (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 12:15 pm Report abuse
My prediction, and since so many of my predictions are now coming to fruition it must be killing THINK, is that Uruguay and Brazil will sign an FTA with the USA and drop out of MercoSur.
At that point we will have every legitimate country in South American ( boivianiarn socialist nutters excluded) in an FTA with the USA.
7 briton (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 12:18 pm Report abuse
Poor CFK,

She could just sit on Karel De Gucht lap,
And talk about the first thing that pops up ??
8 Shed-time (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 12:20 pm Report abuse
The EC should drop this whole thing like hot rocks and forge bilateral treaties with the interested parties directly. Otherwise they're just wasting my taxes, which they seem very good at doing.

Einstein said, Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. By this definition, these Eurocrats are insane.
9 Conqueror (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 12:46 pm Report abuse
@1 There will be NO agreement as long as mercosur or anything like it exists or has argieland as a member. I regularly contact MPs and MEPs to emphasise mercosur's illegitimacy. Its irregular actions. Its tyranny. The misery that it will inflict on the people of the world. Beyond the misery it is already inflicting by helping a pariah state avoid its responsibilities.
10 Nostrolldamus The 2nd (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 02:29 pm Report abuse


Friday, December 14th 2012 - 04:45 UTC
‘Argentina’s behaviour’ main obstacle for EU/Mercosur trade talks says Brussels'

11 Anbar (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 03:45 pm Report abuse
“followed by the decline into irrelevance of Mercosur”

Unlikely, its still worthwhile Brazil running Mercosur for political ends, they already run it economically (despite the best attempts at sabotage by Argentinas government).

but Brazil wont want, or like, the Chavez/CFK/Iran set growing stronger and the best way for it to keep a lid on that sort of stupidity is via Mercosur, so it will keep using as it has done, to keep the reigns, where it can, on as much self-destructive stupidity as it can do (by everybody else in mercosur that is, not by itself)
12 ProRG_American (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 04:46 pm Report abuse
13 GeoffWard2 (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 05:33 pm Report abuse
Yes, the EU needs South America, whether the man in the street knows it or not.

If bloc agreements are impossible, Europe should not hang about ... bilaterals should be the order of the day, before the USA and/or China tie-up all the things that Europe needs, both input and output.

Europe ... DO IT with Brasil and Chile as soon as possible.
14 ProRG_American (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 05:49 pm Report abuse
15 Phil H (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 06:05 pm Report abuse
14 yes indeed. But what has that to do with this thread?
16 LightThink (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 06:38 pm Report abuse
We dont care a hang of Argentina.......
We dont need any Argentine gadgety export goods.

We are not UK and not coquettish like them
Argentina is cluttered out if we simply touch it.
17 briton (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 07:04 pm Report abuse
The only thing CFK will achieve from closer ties with Iran,
Is possibly the USA navy patrolling the coast of Argentina,
Just in case CFK tries to smuggle them in..

Through nostril’s back garden ..
18 LightThink (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 07:39 pm Report abuse

You are not astute.
19 briton (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 07:42 pm Report abuse
Very true,
And I don’t weigh as much either.
20 Pugol-H (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 07:55 pm Report abuse
Bi-lateral agreements are probably the only viable way forward, as mercosur is increasingly a political grouping, this shouldn’t really be a problem.

To-date it’s the EU has only talked in terms of a mercosur deal, this may be the first indication that is about to change.

To be fair to Argentina, Venezuela has only just joined mercosur and Chav has been otherwise occupied, so there has not been time for them to create the same sort of obstacles.
21 LightThink (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 08:01 pm Report abuse

Everything is for energy/commodity ,the rest is theather.
22 andy65 (#) Dec 14th, 2012 - 09:21 pm Report abuse
CRISYY CRISSY CRISSY always the problem

23 Pirat-Hunter (#) Dec 15th, 2012 - 12:32 am Report abuse
#17 we Argentines support a nuclear defense program 100% made in Argentina, not one with Iran, but you are all welcome to invest any capital you have in more weapons. That's what ruled the world for thousands of years and I don't see anything changing any time soon. I hear even north Korea might be getting Argentine products soon.
24 Pugol-H (#) Dec 15th, 2012 - 03:24 pm Report abuse
North Korea, they are worse off than Argentina for foreign currency with which to buy things. They usually pay with un-spendable counterfeit USD.
25 Alexei (#) Dec 17th, 2012 - 04:00 pm Report abuse
@23 Sit back and watch what happens to your new Iranian friends. They're just a few steps ahead on the road you're apparently so keen to follow.
26 ynsere (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 03:30 am Report abuse
yankeeboy @ 6
I hope you're right, but it seems unlikely in the short term.

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