Brazil's government is considering lowering import duties in the next planned review of regional bloc Mercosur tariffs, which is scheduled to take place in January, Trade Minister Fernando Pimentel announced this week.
Brazilian officials increased tariffs on 100 products last January 2013 with the purpose of defending local industry from the massive influx of competitive goods from overseas, mainly Asian countries.
A paper from Uruguay’s Industry Department elaborated at the end of last year indicated the country could significantly increase manufactured goods exports in sectors such as plastic, pulp and paper, sine the Brazilian increased barriers do not apply for Mercosur members.
Pimentel described Mercosur as a ‘success block and story’, but admitted problems because of asymmetries among the group’s economies and pointed to the delay in liberating Brazilian goods imports to the Argentine market.
But the minister also pointed to the fact that Brazil’s economy if five times that of Argentina and compared to Uruguay and Paraguay, ‘forget it!’
Precisely “that asymmetry demands from us as the leading country a very special ability and patience”, said Pimentel.
Addressing the Economic Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Commission of the Lower House Pimental pointed out that the Brazilian economy is “more open than the average in Latinamerica”.
To that respect he mentioned that Brazilian manufacturing is ‘solid and half of it is international property’.
Pimentel finally argued that Brazil is not a protectionist country and government “must not exaggerate defence measures” of the economy.