While Brazil was one of the chief Latin American architects of the defeat of the FTAA, its economic policy has, in many cases, been favorable to the signing of FTAs. Given its dominant position in Mercosur and on the continent in general, it has focused its efforts on reaching such agreements within the institutional forums of which it is a member.
Mercosur in particular is actively involved in seeking negotiations with India, Central America, the Southern African Customs Union, and Algeria.
In many cases these trade agreements are being pursued as part of the administration’s policy of expanding markets for agrofuels (ethanol).
At the same time, Brazil is carrying on negotiations with India and South Africa, with which it makes up the strongest economic bloc of Southern countries within IBSA, creating tensions within Mercosur.
In March 2011, Brazil signed an Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ATEC) which many analysts see as a first step towards an FTA. Since 2010, Brazil has also been pushing for an FTA with Mexico.
last update: May 2012
Photo: Cesar Itiberê/PR CC BY-NC-SA 2.0