Uruguay and Argentina, and their cabinets will be meeting this Monday in Buenos Aires to address a bilateral agenda, which was agreed long before hand, but the real issue will not necessarily be trade, dredging canals, pulp mills, customs or facilitating people's movement, but rather the negotiations for a free trade agreement which supposedly Uruguay is about to begin discussing with China.
Brazil's central bank cut its key interest rate for the first time in more than three years on Wednesday as a new center-right government's reforms fuel hopes of a recovery in Latin America's largest economy. The bank lowered the benchmark Selic rate by 0.25 points, to 14%, still one of the world's highest, and cited a dip in inflation and forecasts that a long recession -- Brazil's worst in a century -- is nearing its end.
Tensions inside Mercosur can be attributed to the fact that Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay share a development economic model which distances them from Venezuela, and are prepared to advance in trade negotiations with the European Union, and even with the Pacific Alliance. Venezuela on the other hand has as its main priority putting the deteriorated economy back on the growth track, according to the UN regional economic commission ECLAC, chair Alicia Barcena.
The Argentine government feels upset and deeply disappointed with the announced British military exercises in the Falklands/Malvinas, which includes the launching of missiles, but nevertheless the government will continue working to build the opportunity of a dialogue which eliminates the presumptions of conflict with the UK, said foreign minister Susana Malcorra on Saturday in the Vatican.
The European Union and Mercosur could strike a free trade deal within two years, according to Argentina’s Commerce Secretary Miguel Braun. After Brexit, Mercosur would be open to a separate trade deal with the UK. Trade negotiations between the EU and Mercosur nations are still on track, despite the UK’s decision to leave the bloc and uncertainty over the future of the EU’s other major trade agreements – TTIP and CETA.
Mercosur has “lost focus” because of years of political and ideological discussions instead of concentrating in trade integration, commented Nigel Baker, deputy head of the Foreign Office South America's department during a two day visit to Paraguay. The ex ambassador in the Vatican also anticipated that Brexit, UK leaving the European Union will help strengthen overall relations with Paraguay, one of Mercosur four founding members.
Brazil’s Prosecutor-General’s Office questioned the constitutionality of President Michel Temer’s proposed public spending cap and recommended that Congress shelve the austerity measures. The office said in a statement the proposal interferes with the autonomy of other federal powers and would weaken the country’s judicial system, handicapping efforts to combat corruption.
Foreign minister Susana Malcorra said that the Falklands/Malvinas issue has “an enormous emotional content”, but as her country's main diplomat her duty is to ensure a dialogue that can advance, in the best possible way, on all issues. The minister also described the Mercosur relation with Brazil as “inexorable”, which is beyond ideologies underlining the significance of Brazil's Michel Temer recent visit to Argentina.
Argentine president Mauricio Macri will be receiving his Brazilian peer Michel Temer in Buenos Aires on Monday morning to address bilateral relations in several fields, mainly political, trade, Mercosur, and security and development in the long shared border areas. According to official sources Temer´s delegation arrives with foreign minister Jose Serra, Industry and trade minister Marcos Pereira and head of defense Raul Jungmann.
Former President Dilma Rousseff called the prosecution of her predecessor on corruption charges another attack on Brazil's democracy, speaking just weeks after the Senate removed her from office in an impeachment trial.