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Montevideo, December 2nd 2021 - 10:10 UTC

 

 

Lacalle ratifies Uruguay's stance regarding Mercosur opening up to the world

Wednesday, November 17th 2021 - 23:37 UTC
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Things with China are going well but a deal with the US is unlikely for now, Lacalle said Things with China are going well but a deal with the US is unlikely for now, Lacalle said

Uruguay's President Luis Lacalle Pou has insisted Mercosur needed modernizing and it is along those lines that his country was seeking one-on-one free-trade deals with the United States and China

 “The flexibility to which we refer is more in force than ever,” Lacalle Pou said at a ceremony in Soriano marking the commencement of the wheat harvest season.

The South American head of state stressed Tuesday that striking either of those accords would be a childhood dream come true. “Uruguay is in the process of opening up to the world. If we can sign a free trade agreement with China and another with the United States, something that is not on the horizon today because the United States does not intend to, it would be the kid's dream,” Lacalle explained.

On the other hand, “the issue with China is going well,” said Lacalle, who hoped feasibility studies will be completed shortly to move towards the Free Trade Agreement he heralded in September.

He added that “if the world has shrunk and is closer than ever,” Uruguay “is going to go out into the world and open up.”

However, regarding the US, the Uruguayan president acknowledged that country was currently pursuing “a more protectionist policy,” so such an understanding with Washington today seems “unlikely.”

Nevertheless, Lacalle made it clear Uruguay intends to sell its products abroad. “Because we have faith in our producers, in our people, and we will play in the first division anywhere if we can make agreements and sell our products. That is our pledge,” he underlined.

Regarding the regional bloc, Lacalle Pou recalled that there will be a summit on December 16 and 17 and once again insisted Montevideo's stance has been clear for over a year and a half now: ”Mercosur needs to be modernized.” Agreements outside Mercosur were the cause of controversies, particularly with Argentina, who believes this type of negotiation requires consensus from all members, as per the Treaty of Asuncion.

Brazil's recent decision to lower Mercosur tariffs has set off changes in that direction.

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