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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 wants to speed Mercosur/Pacific Alliance free trade understanding
Brazil will propose next Tuesday during the Mercosur summit that the group and the Pacific Alliance reach an agreement on free trade by the end of the year, according to official sources.
Despite all, Mercosur is “working normally”, says Paraguayan foreign minister
Paraguay’s foreign minister Eladio Loizaga said that there is no date for the several times suspended Mercosur summit, but a technical meeting is scheduled for next week in Montevideo when the issue, among others will be addressed. Nevertheless he insisted that the different bodies of Mercosur “are working normally”.
Brazil/Argentina agree on deal to promote bilateral trade by guaranteeing ’dollar liquidity’
Brazil and Argentina signed a deal over the weekend that seeks to guarantee importers will have enough U.S. dollars to pay for exports, a move to increase trade between both nations that has been hit hard by a sharp depreciation of the Argentine peso.
Uruguay calls on Mercosur to sign a free trade agreement with United States
Uruguayan Vice-President Danilo Astori said Mercosur must decisively address the signing of a free trade agreement with the United States, but also admits that “opportunities must be built”.
Mercosur seeks Canada deal, but Cuba looms
Mercosur is pushing a free trade deal with Canada which, if signed, will confront Ottawa with the ticklish issue of dealing with continued U.S. embargo on the regional pact’s future partner Cuba.
Bolivia takes the leap into the big pond of Mercosur
Mercosur membership, the path chosen by the government of leftist President Evo Morales, could open up new prospects for Bolivian business owners “especially those involved in big agribusiness in eastern Bolivia,” Tullo Vigévani, a professor at Paulista State University in Brazil, told IPS.
Venezuela joins Mercosur: A new strategic alliance
Venezuela’s entry into Mercosur has had interpretations centered on the economic and commercial aspects, but the most important it is a geopolitical and geoenergy matter.
Geopolitical tsunami in the Southern Cone
When the Paraguayan Senate approved the “political judgment” against Fernando Lugo on June 22, it unleashed the biggest political crisis in the Mercosur in the last 20 years. The dust still hasn’t settled, but it’s clear that nothing will be the same since the shake-up.
Mercosur senses dangers of free trade with China
There is little likelihood that South America’s Mercosur trade bloc will take up China’s proposal to establish a free trade agreement, at least in the short term. Experts and industrialists fear an invasion of cheap Chinese goods, and unequal competition.
Chavez: joining trade bloc a boon for Venezuela
Joining the South American trade bloc Mercosur will be a boon for Venezuela and should help the country’s businesses boost international sales, President Hugo Chavez said Monday as he traveled to Brazil for a meeting where Venezuela will formally become a member.

    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)