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Mercosur

Mercosur, or the Southern Common Market, is a customs union between Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. It was originally set up in 1991. Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru have associate member status. Bolivia may be incorporated as a full member soon. In June 2006, Venezuela signed on as a full Mercosur member, although its membership still has to be ratified by the parliament of Paraguay.

As an instrument of subregional integration, Mercosur has been used to carry out important harmonization processes between the member states in areas such as intellectual property, agricultural policy and labour law. But the group is also plagued by internal conflicts.

Mercosur as a bloc is currently negotiating bilateral free trade agreements with other blocs such as CARICOM, the Andean Community, European Union, and the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is also seeking one with the Dominican Republic.

Mercosur signed an FTA with Israel in December 2007 (which entered into force in September 2011) and another with Palestine in December 2011 after the four members recognised its statehood.

The possibility of Uruguay’s “breaking away” from Mercosur to sign its own FTA with the United States has created enormous tension within the group (not to mention within Uruguay). A similar situation exists with Paraguay.

last update: May 2012


Brazil optimistic about a Mercosur free trade accord with Canada
An estimate by Brazil´s Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA) points out that the conclusion of a free trade agreement between Mercosur and Canada has the potential to increase Brazilian export revenues of agricultural products by US$7.8 billion.
Argentina reaffirms commitment to Mercosur but remains cautious about EU accord
The Mercosur agreement with the EU will be subject to Parliament approval while Argentina is not interested in the South Korea deal, says Argentine Foreign Minister.
Brazil wants to change Mercosur rule to make agreements without Argentina viable
Action would come in the face of the neighboring country’s announcement that it will abandon negotiations on the organization’s agreements.
Argentina to exit Mercosur trade talks to focus on problems at home
Argentina has decided to withdraw from ongoing trade negotiations with regional bloc Mercosur as it turns its focus on the growing economic crisis at home.
South American bloc’s new trade appetite has suitors calling
Mercosur is negotiating with South Korea, Canada and Singapore, while Indonesia and Vietnam are possible candidates. Plus, a deal with the European Free Trade Association is in its final stages.
Lebanon close to signing free trade deal with Mercosur countries: ambassador
Lebanon is only a few steps away from signing a free trade agreement with Mercosur countries, the Uruguayan ambassador to Lebanon said
Brazil to seek a Mercosur-UK trade deal similar of agreement with EU
Brazil will seek to strike a Mercosur-United Kingdom trade deal post Brexit that could be similar to the trade agreement signed between the South American bloc and the European Union.
Blueprint for a human rights impact assessment of the planned comprehensive free trade agreement between EFTA and Mercosur
This study assesses the impact of the EFTA-Mercosur free trade agreement on access to medicines, indigenous rights and women rights.
Brazil aims to forge more trade accords as Bolsonaro heads to Asia
Brazil aims to conclude free trade agreements between Mercosur and Singapore and South Korea by next year, as it also eyes deals with Vietnam and Indonesia.
Mercosur to finalize trade agreement with EFTA; Bolsonaro also targets US
Mercosur expecte trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association, a rich-country club, which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, to be finalized by August.

    Links


  • MERCOSUR
    Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR) is a common market between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
  • MERCOSUR website
    Official website of MERCOSUR, a common market between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay (in Portuguese and Spanish)