Sweet sour discussions.
Argentina and Brazil are at odds over the sugar and automobile industries in the discussions leading to this week's "re launching" of Mercosur that is expected to take place during the block's presidential summit in Buenos Aires, and considered "the" achievement of the new Argentine administration.
Argentina's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Horacio Chighizola admitted that both issues could experience "surprises" during the current discussions, but insisted Argentina rejected a review of the automobile agreement that anticipates an only market regional market beginning January 2006.
Mr. Chighizola also announced that Argentina will not open its sugar market next January 2001, as Brazil pretends, but is willing to hold talks on the issue next August.
"What has been agreed can't be reviewed", said the Argentine official insisting that the re-launching of Mercosur during the presidential summit is the main objective. Argentina also rejected Brazil's suggestion that it eliminate its anti dumpling legislation, to help promote trade in the Mercosur area. "This is the only tool we have to protect our local industry and market, when others commit themselves to similar sacrifices, we will follow", underlined Mr. Chighizola.
Argentine president De la Rúa, that took office last December, wants to emphasize the re-launching of Mercosur as one of the great foreign policy successes in the first six months of his administration. Animal welfare.
The European Commission, EC, will request the World Trade Organisation, WTO, that animal welfare be taken into account in the coming discussions over world trade liberalisation.
Brussels will make its suggestion official in the coming days in spite of the fact most of EC trading partners consider it's another attempt to impede or slow down trade talks on farming.
According to Brussels sources the EC paper indicates that "WTO members must not prejudice food and agriculture products trade with animal welfare regulations, but it's important to ensure that countries have the right to conserve the high standards they apply".
"We're not interested in introducing new non tariff barriers, but we want consumers to have a cor