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Montevideo, March 22nd 2023 - 13:26 UTC



EU/Mercosur still in the cold but committed to reach an agreement in coming months

Monday, March 24th 2014 - 06:47 UTC
Full article 4 comments
Spokesperson Clancy said negotiators exchanged information and tried to clarify several issues Spokesperson Clancy said negotiators exchanged information and tried to clarify several issues

The European Union and Mercosur held last Friday in Brussels the technical meeting, as was scheduled to assess the state of negotiations for a long delayed and ambitious association and trade agreement, but concluded with no calendar for the exchange of tariff reduction proposals, which is central to the discussions.

 The Brussels meeting had been agreed by Brazil during a recent Brazil/EU strategic talks meeting in Europe attended by President Dilma Rousseff, which is very keen to reach a trade agreement.

“They met to discuss the state of preparation of the proposals for market access from both sides, as had been agreed”, said a release from the EC Trade Commissioner Office spokesperson John Clancy.

Both sides expressed their commitment to keep advancing in the negotiations process with the purpose of reaching a “global, balanced and ambitious agreement”, pointed out the release.

EU and Mercosur chief negotiators “exchanged information on the preparation of their respective proposals and tried to clarify several issues”, added the spokesperson Clancy.

Chief negotiators from both sides agreed “to continue the internal work and consulting process with the purpose of exchanging proposals in the coming months”.

Negotiations between the two blocks which were re-launched in 2010 after several years in the freeze continue stalled in some areas because of the lack of consensus in Mercosur as to the market access proposals and extent of tariff reductions. In the EU the agriculture issue also remains complicated since several countries are not willing to open their markets to the more efficient Mercosur farmers.

Mercosur negotiations only include Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay since Venezuela, the latest incorporation, is still in the process of adapting to the group's rules and regulations. Nevertheless it is well known that the main stumbling block on the Mercosur side remains Argentina with its policies of privileging the domestic market and manufacturing.

Last week the head of the Department for Relations with North and South America in the European External Action Service (EEAS), before the Friday meeting said “we are hopeful, but not totally confident” about the coming technical exchange.

Brazil and Uruguay are most willing to reach an agreement and have a very ambitious tariff reduction proposal, but Argentina's reluctance and Brazil's insistence that Buenos Aires is a 'strategic partner' and must be part of the deal, continue to delay negotiations.

Top Comments

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  • golfcronie

    Sorry but I would not believe any of the Mercosur countries lies.

    Mar 24th, 2014 - 12:43 pm 0
  • Conqueror

    NOBODY in the EU, except for the Commission, want anything to do with mercosur. Having spoken to many people, nobody can see anything worthwhile in south america and, specifically, latin america. When it makes anything, it's crap. Even have difficulty putting kits together properly. When it grows anything, it poisons it. Which is fair enough if only they eat it. But distributing it to be eaten by PEOPLE? And the same goes for meat. So it has a label on it. All latinos lie. Would you eat anything produced in argieland and intended for Britain? Of course not. Asking for every disease known to mankind. So they stick “Produced in Brazil” on it. Just remember, if this “agreement” goes through, avoid everything from latin america. Avoid everything from anywhere near latin america. Kill the “agreement” by killing the trade.

    Mar 24th, 2014 - 02:01 pm 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Perhaps Latin American countries could benefit from an inward flow of manufactured goods of high quality.
    Perhaps the EU could benefit from an inward flow of food, lumber and minerals.
    Perhaps both would benefit from higher trade flows.
    Perhaps inward investment might follow to aid the development of first world status amongst Latin countries.
    Perhaps both blocs would benefit from diversifying their bloc links beyond the US and China.

    But hang on!
    Most countries in Latin America have BI-LATERAL trade arrangements in place ...
    could it be that only the Mercosur countries do NOT have preferential trade agreements with European countries?
    Could it be that the 14 years of talking about doing it have given all the other countries Latam countries the opportunity to get in there and do the deals individually?
    Could it be that Mercosur countries have 'missed the boat' and traded away profit and development for ... their questionable political ideology?

    Windows of opportunity are only fleetingly open before they are closed by the big-beasts doing what they do.
    And I can see this window swinging shut as we speak.

    Mar 24th, 2014 - 04:37 pm 0
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