US President Donald Trump and his Paraguayan colleague Mario Abdo Benítez Friday discussed in Washington a free trade agreement with Mercosur as well as other items of mutual interest, including beef import/exports and the crisis affecting various countries in South America.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday that Mercosur trade block needs to hurry up and implement agreements the group has negotiated.
Brazil on Thursday handed over the six-month rotating presidency of the Mercosur trade bloc (Southern Common Market) to Paraguay. During a ceremony at the bloc's 55th summit in Bento Goncalves, Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro expressed confidence in his Paraguayan counterpart Mario Abdo Benitez and his leadership skills.
The South American four-nation trade bloc Mercosur began a tense meeting on Wednesday reeling from US steel and aluminium tariffs and a spat between its two biggest members. Foreign ministers of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay opened the two-day meeting in the southern Brazilian town of Bento Goncalves, paving the way for a head of state summit on Thursday.
Brazilian police are seeking the arrest of Paraguay’s ex-President Horacio Cartes as part of an investigation into money laundering. On Tuesday, Brazilian authorities alleged Cartes provided US$500,000 to a criminal organization at the request of Dario Messer, a Brazilian associate who was then a fugitive facing corruption charges, prosecutors told reporters.
Ivanka Trump met with Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez and female artisans on Friday as part of her tour of South America, announcing the commitment of an additional US$ 500 million for a fund to help women entrepreneurs in the region.
United States Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan will travel with Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump to Colombia, Argentina, and Paraguay September 3-6.
In its press statement on the Paraguayan decision, the group said: “This decision runs against international law which ensures peoples’ right to resist the aggression and occupation with all possible means including the armed struggle”
Paraguay’s president, Mario Abdo, has reached his first year in office with a 69% disapproval rating amid an enduring political crisis and a significant economic slowdown, according to a survey published on Wednesday.
Paraguay's Colorado Party Monday backed its support of President Mario Abdo in the aftermath of the political scandal sparked last week when the somber Itaipu electricity deal with Brazil was unearthed, leaving the government on the brink of impeachment, a threat which has been averted.... for now.