US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he is considering imposing a halt on all travel coming from Latin America amid worsening coronavirus outbreaks in the region.
The world's largest operational hydroelectric dam, Itaipu Plant announced that starting next Monday, May 18, it will open its spillway to help Paraguay and Argentina, which are suffering from a drought and hence having problems transporting their grain harvest.
Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez has said the spread of coronavirus in Brazil threatens his country's success in containing the virus. Mr Benítez said more than half of Paraguay's 563 cases were people who had entered from neighbouring Brazil.
Foreign minister Felipe Sola said Argentina is “not abandoning Mercosur, and did not leave any chair at the table”. Furthermore, this Thursday a round of ministerial talks will be taking place, requested by Paraguay, to keep analyzing the legal and institutional framework that some members pretend to speed a list of negotiations with other countries.
Mercosur member Paraguay has a high likelihood of bouncing back best once the novel coronavirus is contained, Rebeca Grynspan, head of the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), told Radio Nacional del Paraguay on Thursday.
Uruguayan president Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou and his Argentine peer, Alberto Fernandez held a half-hour video conference Tuesday mid-morning to address the recent decision by the current Argentine administration to freeze Mercosur free trade negotiations with potential new partners and instead concentrate efforts in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and its sanitary, social, economic and employment consequences.
Brazil's giant meatpacker Marfrig Global Foods CEO, Miguel Gularte, said the company has resumed sales of fresh beef to the US following a decision by US authorities to open their market to Brazilian beef. American slaughterhouses have been closing amid coronavirus social distancing rules and this has led to unmet demand within the US.
In the midst of the chaotic situation caused by the pandemic, the Argentine government announced the abandonment of Mercosur negotiations to prioritize the country’s domestic economy and the struggle against the virus. The rest of the bloc members must evaluate legal, institutional, and operational measures emerging from the decision.
The governments of Argentina and Brazil are in talks to release water from the giant Itaipu Dam with a view to topping up the Parana River, where ebbing levels are conspiring against a US$ 20-billion-a-year crop export business.
Below normal rains in the Parana-Paraguay water basin is hampering grain transport through waterways in Argentina as the water level of the river has dropped significantly, Bolsa de Comercio de Rosario, or BCR, said in a report.