President Mauricio Macri met on Monday midday with his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella, who is in Buenos Aires on the first official visit by an Italian president to Argentina in 16 years. The two leaders underlined the unique links between Italy and Argentina and announced the re-launching of diplomatic and trade relations.
The European Union and South American trade bloc Mercosur should intensify talks to reach a trade agreement this year, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Tuesday, urging haste after 18 years of negotiations.
An optimistic foreign minister Susana Malcorra said that Argentina expects the Mercosur/European Union trade agreement to be announced next December during the World Trade Organization meeting to be held in Buenos Aires, and which she described as an event of great political impact.
Argentine president Mauricio Macri is convinced that in the second half of the year Mercosur will sign the long awaited trade agreement with the European Union and will establish closer links with the Pacific Alliance, according to a report in one of Buenos Aires leading radios.
The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) is pushing to have meat removed from the proposed trade deal between Europe and Mercosur in the wake of Brazil’s meat scandal. The move could scupper the entire trade deal given the importance of the meat industry to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
The adulterated meat situation in Brazil is no obstacle for the current trade negotiations between the European Union and Mercosur, said Eidta Hrdá, Managing Director for the Americas from the European External Action Service, currently in Buenos Aires.
First vice-president of the European Union Parliament Irish lawmaker Mairead McGuinness has asked EU Commissioners for agriculture and trade for clarity on allegations that Brazil has sold meat that is unfit for consumption.
European Union has insisted Brazilian representatives attend an emergency meeting to explain themselves regarding a scandal involving rotten meat and the country’s two largest exporters, JBS and BRF. Brazil has already announced that the 22 plants (out of over 4.000) allegedly involved in the scam have been closed.
Mercosur expects to sign a framework accord this year for a trade deal with the European Union as the U.S. shift to isolationism under President Donald Trump encourages it to look outside the hemisphere for opportunities, Brazil's foreign minister Aloysio Nunes said on Tuesday.
Mercosur representatives will be meeting their European Union counterparts this week, beginning Monday, in Brussels in anticipation of another round of trade and cooperation discussions scheduled for March in Buenos Aires. Mercosur members, under the coordination of Argentina, which currently holds the group's chair are attending with a common position reached after several days of videoconferences.