In the aftermath of Friday's presidential clash between Alberto Fernández and Uruguay's Luis Lacalle Pou over the Mercosur's alleged lack of “flexibility,” Argentine Foreign Ministry's Cabinet Chief Guillermo Chaves said Saturday in a radio interview that the bloc's fundamental identity was to negotiate jointly on behalf of all members, but if each partner was allowed to hold deals individually, the association would lose its raison d'être.
Argentine President Alberto Fernández told his Uruguayan counterpart Luis Lacalle Pou his country did not want to be “a burden on anyone” when the latter called for signs of “flexibilization” on the part of Mercosur to allow member states to seek unilateral foreign trade agreements elsewhere without the bloc's approval.
There is no chance at the moment that France will ratify a free-trade deal between the European Union and the Mercosur group, an official at the presidential palace in Paris said on Monday.
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.