Bilateral trade between Mercosur leading partners Argentina and Brazil plummeted 27.6% in August and 22% in the last twelve months, according to Buenos Aires consultants, Abeceb. Recession in Brazil plus strict Argentine trade restrictions and slower domestic demand has contributed to the results.
Speaking for a Brazilian business association in Sao Paulo, Rubén Barbosa accused the government of Argentina of dealing a ‘mortal blow’ to Mercosur, the regional grouping that was originally focused on economic integration and has since become a political forum for the region’s leaders as was again evident during the last summit in Montevideo.
Brazilian Industry and Foreign Trade minister Fernando Pimentel met this week in Buenos Aires with President Cristina Fernandez and members of her cabinet to address several bilateral trade issues that growingly concern President Dilma Rousseff because of Argentina’s increasingly market protection policies.
Brazil and Argentina are trying to address their economic and trade differences so that they can reach a long-standing, long term solution, said Marco Aurelio García, the Brazilian Executive advisor on foreign issues and trouble shooter for this kind of conflicts.
Brazil admitted that the trade situation with Argentina is “less than satisfactory”, given the ongoing barriers and restrictions imposed by Buenos Aires and revealed that the bilateral trade balance is now inclined in favour of its southern neighbour and Mercosur associate.
Mexico will ask a World Trade Organization panel to adjudicate a dispute over trade restrictions with Argentina, said Economy Minister Bruno Ferrari.
Following similar complaints against Argentina by the European Union, United States and Japan, Mexico has launched its first dispute against Argentina at the World Trade Organization, the WTO announced on Monday.
Argentina’s trade surplus reached 1.014 billion dollars in July, which is 54% higher than the same month a year ago. Exports totalled 7.4 billion and imports 6.37bn according to the latest release from the official stats office, Indec.
Mexico is prepared to take legal actions against Argentina after the government of President Cristina Fernandez announced its decision “to suspend” an automobile trade agreement.
Trade differences between Mercosur leading partners Brazil and Argentina will be overcome with negotiations and promoting productive integration, coincided business people, diplomats and academics from both countries at a seminar in Rio do Janeiro.