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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


Uruguay-China FTA negotiations raise tensions over Mercosur’s future
The recent Mercosur summit revealed strains in the bloc. As Uruguay moves for a free trade agreement with China, other members discuss consequences and call for unity.
South American Mercosur bloc, Singapore conclude trade pact talks
South American trade bloc Mercosur concluded talks on a trade pact with Singapore, Brazil’s Economy and Foreign Affairs Ministries said.
‘Turkey’s goal in its relations with Latin America is to deepen cooperation’
Turkey and Mercosur need to move economic relations further and sign free trade agreements, said Turkish Foreign Minister.
Mercosur meeting ends without deal on import tariff cuts
The member states were unable to hash out an agreement after Uruguay declined to sign on unless other countries agreed to let it negotiate its own unilateral free trade deals without the blessing of Mercosur nations.
Mercosur-Arabs: Brazil wants to resume talks on agreements
The Brazilian government is interested in resuming negotiations for free trade agreements between Mercosur and Arab countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, and Lebanon.
Uruguay to open an embassy in Turkey, hopes to sign trade agreement
Uruguay hopes to sign a free trade agreement with Turkey, would be joined by the other Mercosur partners, said Foreign Minister, Francisco Bustillo.
Mercosur-Egypt: Brazil to request more tariff reductions
The Brazilian private sector will request to anticipate tariff reductions in the free trade agreement between Mercosur and Egypt, in addition to demanding the inclusion of new products.
Brazil wants to settle Mercosur-Lebanon agreement in 2022
The Brazilian government expects the free trade agreement between Mercosur and Lebanon to be concluded next year, said the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Uruguay swears allegiance to Mercosur, but will negotiate independently with third countries
Uruguay will proceed with negotiations, expecting to reach trade agreements with third parties or blocks, outside of the four founding members group.
Uruguay pushing to make Mercosur more flexible
Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay reportedly wish to make the trading bloc more flexible for commerce by negotiating new trade accords to reduce the bloc’s tariffs.

    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)