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Uruguayans divided on free trade agreement

Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research

Uruguayans Divided on Free Trade Agreement

October 26, 2006

Adults in Uruguay are split over a proposed commerce deal with the United States, according to a poll by Interconsult published in Últimas Noticias. 49 per cent of respondents oppose signing the free trade agreement, while 43 per cent are in favour.

Tabaré Vázquez-nominee for the leftist Progressive Encounter (EP)-won the October 2004 election with 50.45 per cent of the vote, becoming the first Uruguayan president to represent a political organization other than the Red Party (PC) and the National Party-Whites (PC-B).

The president officially took over in March 2005, and began his government with majorities in the Chamber of Deputies-with 52 lawmakers in the 99-seat lower house-and the Chamber of Senators-with 18 legislators in the 31-seat upper house.

On Oct. 3, the first round of negotiations toward a free trade deal between Uruguay and the U.S. came to an end in Montevideo. While Vázquez has said he wants to expand commerce with the U.S.-while not particularly signing an agreement at this time-some members of the EP coalition have accused him of ceding national sovereignty.

In 2005, Uruguay exported $767 million U.S. in goods to the United States, while importing $259 million U.S. from the North American country.

Polling Data

Do you support or oppose signing a free trade agreement with the United States?

Support 43%
Oppose 49%
Not sure 8%

Source: Interconsult / Últimas Noticias
Methodology: Interviews to 846 Uruguayan adults, conducted from Oct. 14 to Oct. 16, 2006. Margin of error is 3 per cent.

 source: Angus Reid