bilaterals.org logo
bilaterals.org logo

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


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.
An expanded Mercosur
Just as Friday’s convention photo showed a lame Mercosur — with Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Dilma Rousseff and José Mujica, but without the Presidents of Paraguay (suspended) and Venezuela (convalescent) — Brazilian and Argentine political lobbyists, along with some Bolivarian middlemen are frantically working for an expanded Mercosur photo, in which four new members would be joining the club. After Venezuela’s hurried entrance into the group last week, the door is now wide open for more partners.
Chinese premier says Asian giant is interested in free-trade deal with Mercosur trade bloc
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the Asian giant is interested in a possible free-trade deal with the Mercosur regional trade bloc.
Brazil targets Argentina with trade licenses
Brazil on Monday escalated a growing trade fight with Argentina by increasing the bureaucratic obstacles for importing about 10 perishable products including apples, raisins, and potatoes, a senior Brazilian government official told Reuters.
Argentina new imports’ restrictions come into effect; claims from Mercosur
Argentina’s controversial new import restrictions came into effect on Wednesday as part of the legislation on the trading sector which gives the government bureaucracy more powers to control and restrict imports.
PA, Mercosur sign free trade agreement
The Palestinian Authority signed a free trade agreement with the Mercosur trade group Tuesday during the organizations’ presidential summit in Uruguay.

    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)