logo logo


Uruguay has a nominally progressive government that came to power on the strength of its critique of neoliberalism. However, one segment of the current Frente Amplio administration has leaned in favour of seeking FTA-type economic agreements. There is ongoing discord within the government around the possible signing of an FTA with the US.

Uruguay is a member of Mercosur, which prohibits member countries from signing bilateral FTAs, and the Uruguayan government’s stance has caused significant tensions within Mercosur, at times bringing it to the verge of dissolution.

Intense debate has taken place within the government itself. So far, the faction opposed to FTAs has won out.

Nevertheless, Uruguay signed a trade and investment framework agreement (TIFA) with the US in January 2007. Many observers saw this as a first step towards the signing of an FTA.

Since José "Pepe" Mujica (also with Frente Amplio) took the presidency in March 2010, a new period in Uruguay’s foreign policy began and the country no longer discusses an FTA with the US.

last update: May 2012

Uruguayans lose faith in Mercosur trade pact
Uruguay is looking to increase trade with the US amid mounting disappointment about the benefits of membership of the Mercosur trade bloc.
US Senator: US-Uruguay free trade deal virtually sewn up
Visiting US Sen. Melquiades "Mel" Martinez, R-Fla., said during an Argentine radio interview Thursday that a free trade agreement between the US and Argentine neighbor Uruguay is virtually sewn up.
Official: Uruguay to seek US, China free trade deals - Report
The Uruguayan government plans to seek free trade agreements with the U.S. and China, Economy Minister Danilo Astori said in an interview published Thursday in a weekly Uruguayan magazine.
Uruguay Min rejects talk of US free trade deal - Report
Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Reinaldo Gargano on Friday rejected an assertion made by Economy Minister Daniel Astori that the small South American nation is seeking a free trade deal with the U.S., according to Argentine media reports.
Uruguayan congress passes investment treaty with United States
The Uruguayan government has ratified a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with the United States that is intended to enhance bilateral relations as well as trade and investment ties, according to the U.S. State Department.
US, Uruguay to sign amended Bilateral Investment Treaty
The US and Uruguay will sign an amended bilateral investment treaty later Friday, the South American country’s foreign minister said.
Uruguayan Senate debates US BIT, looks for common Mercosur posture on BITs
The Uruguayan Senate remains deeply divided on whether to move forward with the ratification of a US-Uruguayan Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT).
Allgeier praises growth of bilateral trade between Uruguay and the U.S.
Deputy United States Trade Representative Peter F. Allgeier states recently signed BIT with Uruguay will raise investor confidence and lower the perceived country risk.
Uruguay, US sign bilateral trade treaty
Uruguay and the United States signed a bilateral trade agreement Monday to safeguard foreign business investments in each other’s countries while promoting trade and exports.
Uruguay secretly concluded a Bilateral Investment Agreement with the US
The Minister of the Economy, Isaac Alfie, and the US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, concluded a Bilateral Investment Agreement without disclosing its contents to either the Uruguayan members of parliament or to the Uruguayan society as a whole.