French president, Emmanuel Macron, declared his opposition to the free trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur. In addition, 265 civil society organizations were also mobilized against the agreement. The decision follows the defeat of Macron in the municipal elections and the strong advance of the Greens.
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.
The European Union and Mexico finalized a major upgrade to their free trade deal on Tuesday after the two sides agreed to grant reciprocal market access to each other’s tenders for public contracts.
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.
Mercosur country members agreed on Wednesday to share information and statistics on the coronavirus evolution as part of a common strategy destined to combat the pandemic, which included facilitating the return of ex-pats and ensuring the movement of goods among the block.
The number of Coronavirus cases tested positive are increasing significantly, in the exponential leg of the process, in Mercosur country members and in Chile. Brazil reported the first death, a 62 year old man in Sao Paulo with a medical record of high pressure and diabetes.
Argentine president Alberto Fernandez held a very positive phone conversation on Wednesday with Uruguayan president-elect Luis Lacalle Pou during which they analyzed the bilateral relation and the regional integration agenda.