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Montevideo, December 17th 2017 - 04:24 UTC

Macri after full integration of Mercosur with the Pacific Alliance

Thursday, August 18th 2016 - 06:04 UTC
Full article 13 comments
“First, we have to boost Mercosur,” Macri told Nikkei, suggesting he was ready to take the lead in breaking down tariffs and other barriers to trade within the bloc. “First, we have to boost Mercosur,” Macri told Nikkei, suggesting he was ready to take the lead in breaking down tariffs and other barriers to trade within the bloc.
Argentina became one of 49 observer countries to the Pacific Alliance in June, with Macri's government apparently trying to show that his country is open for business. Argentina became one of 49 observer countries to the Pacific Alliance in June, with Macri's government apparently trying to show that his country is open for business.

Latin America needs greater economic integration and a merger of Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance should be the objective, according to Argentine president Mauricio Macri, who insists in loosening trade restrictions in his country and the region.

 “First, we have to boost Mercosur,” Macri said in an interview with the Japanese agency Nikkei, suggesting he was ready to take the lead in breaking down tariffs and other barriers to trade within the bloc.

Mercosur members cannot unilaterally sign free trade agreements with outside countries unless there's a full consensus on the issue. Nevertheless Macri said Mercosur is “ready for negotiation with Japan.”

Attempts to build broad economic zones in the region are nothing new. The proposed 34-nation Free Trade Area of the Americas was to span North and South America and the Caribbean, excluding Cuba, and produce a functioning bloc by the end of 2005. But the effort foundered amid resistance by then-Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and other opponents, including Nestor Kirchner and Lula da Silva.

After that failure, free trade proponents Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia formed the Pacific Alliance. The bloc seeks closer ties with Asia, having given observer status to Japan, China, South Korea, India and other nations on the continent.

Argentina became one of the 49 observer countries to the Pacific Alliance in June, with Macri's government apparently trying to show that his country is open for business.

Macri described observer status as the first step toward market integration. Together, the two blocs would have a combined gross domestic product of roughly US$4.5 trillion, about the size of Japan's GDP, creating a more powerful magnet for investment.

Top Comments

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  • Briton

    full integration of Mercosur with the Pacific Alliance

    Ambitious these argies.

    Aug 18th, 2016 - 12:52 pm 0
  • Skip

    A merger?

    Great, just what the Pacific Alliajce doesn't need.

    A merger would entail bringing over all the dysfunction of Mercosur. A better idea is for any Mercosur countries to join Pacific Alliance by meeting the requirements.

    The rules to join aren't onerous.

    But if I was the Pacific Alliance I would balance every new Mercosur member with a new non-Mercosur member. There are Central American countries like Costa Rica and Panama and also countries like Canada and maybe New Zealand. Even Australia. That would help balance the protectionist instinct of Mercosur.

    Aug 18th, 2016 - 01:37 pm 0
  • ChrisR

    I just cannot see this happening due to the dead-headed children that 'rule' the countries of Mercosur.

    Mercosur needs disbanding and each member country should negotiate entry with the Pacific Alliance on term of mutual benefit.

    Anything less is a cop-out.

    Aug 18th, 2016 - 07:03 pm 0
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