Uruguay will reject a Brazilian proposal to create a Mercosur High Court of Justice and grant more powers to the regional parliament when the Mercosur summit meets next Thursday and Friday in Paraguay. Uruguay also anticipated it would make a strong claim regarding the trade barriers imposed by Mercosur senior members, Argentina and Brazil.
The news was leaked to the press on Monday following the weekly Uruguayan cabinet meeting which discussed the Brazilian proposal to be presented Thursday at the Common Market Council which convenes the ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance of the four full Mercosur members previous to the Friday presidential summit.
According to Montevideo press sources the two proposals: creating a Mercosur High Court of Justice and granting greater powers to Parlasur are not contemplated in the Uruguayan constitution and therefore “unconstitutional”. Furthermore, none of the proposals were considered at the Common Market Council.
President Tabare Vazquez gave his full support to the technical and political arguments exposed by the team which will accompany him this week to Asuncion.
Finance minister Alvaro García also announced Uruguay will be making a strong presentation complaining about the recurrent trade barriers and market access limitations imposed by Argentina and Brazil to Uruguayan exports. “These policies and practical measures are totally contrary to Mercosur and World Trade Organization regulations”, said García.
Brazil has imposed import licences for Uruguayan dairy produce, which have been stalled for over 60 days, and simply banned the introduction of re-furbished tyres. Argentina on the other hand has imposed limits on Uruguayan textiles, plastic products. Although lately some licences have been “liberated”, Uruguayan textile companies believe the same could happen again with garments for the new summer season.
Uruguay plans to include in the delegation to Paraguay the team that has been discussing with its Brazilian counterparts the dairy produce dispute (over 10.000 tons of powder milk waiting to be shipped).
“Obviously Brazil and Argentina are more interested in their domestic markets than in their commitments with Mercosur and the WTO”, said Nelson Fernandez Secretary General from the Uruguayan Foreign Affairs ministry.