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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


Pacific Alliance, Mercosur explore trade ties
The heads of state from Mercosur’s member nations will attend high-level talks with the Pacific Alliance trade bloc.
Mercosur-Canada agreement includes women’s issue
Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa announced that the trade agreement between the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) and Canada includes a chapter on the promotion of women in that area.
Argentina’s Macri wants Mercosur to pursue global trade deals
Argentine President Mauricio Macri and Uruguayan counterpart Tabare Vazquez agreed that the Mercosur bloc should pursue trade accords with Asian countries and Canada.
Uruguay calls on Mercosur to renew trade talks with China
Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez called on member countries of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) to renew trade talks with China.
Mercosur and Japan scheduled to begin trade talks next November in Argentina
Mercosur trade bloc looks to begin economic and trade talks with Japan as soon as November, Brazil’s foreign minister said, calling trade with Asia essential to regional economic health as the US embraces protectionism.
Japan angles for space in Brazil with Mercosur deal
Japan may soon manage something that the European Union has not yet done in South America, as negotiations to become an economic partner with the Mercosur trading block push ahead.
Switzerland interested in a trade deal with Mercosur despite its own farmers
Swiss Economic Affairs Minister wants to speed up a free trade agreement between Switzerland and Mercosur, but there is concern in the agricultural sector
Brazil and Mercosur negotiate possible trade accord with UK
Due to Brexit, the UK will be excluded from the trade agreement between Mercosur and the EU, and will need to negotiate a separate agreement.
Argentina’s congress ratifies Mercosur-Egypt agreement
Argentina was the only signatory country that hadn’t yet ratified the free trade agreement, which can now go into effect.
EFTA, Mercosur to begin FTA negotiations
Delegations from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states and MERCOSUR met to prepare for the upcoming negotiations of a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.

    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)