Fohla de S.Paulo
Brazil wants to change Mercosur rule to make agreements without Argentina viable
by Bernardo Caram
Brasília - In the wake of Argentina’s announcement that it will abandon negotiations on Mercosur agreements, the Brazilian government wants to suggest changes in the bloc’s operating rules to make commercial deals feasible without the participation of the neighboring country.
Brazilian negotiators argue that rules in force today may hinder the progress of future agreements if there is no endorsement from the Argentine government. The idea, according to a report made to Folha, is to remove these locks.
This concerns not only future initiatives but also dialogues that have already formally started in recent years with countries such as Canada, South Korea, Lebanon, and Singapore.
Created in 1991, Mercosur has founding members Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Venezuela joined the bloc in 2012 but has been suspended since 2016.
On Friday (24), Argentina announced it would stop participating in the negotiations for Mercosur trade agreements, except for the two most important ones in progress, with the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (Efta).
Argentina said it made the decision because the priority now is to fight the coronavirus and the internal economic emergencies caused by the pandemic. In the statement, he said that "it will not be an obstacle for other countries to continue with their different negotiation processes.