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April 25, 2014

Free trade agreement

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mercosur rushes to reach deal with EU

Mercosur countries are rushing to finalize the trade bloc’s proposal on a free trade agreement with the European Union before the end of the year.

According to Brazilian diplomat Ronaldo Costa Filho, Mercosur faces a deadline to submit an offer on the deal, which has been in the works for almost two decades.

“We are reaching the final stages of the preparation of Mercosur’s offer. All countries are committed, and we are confident that the agreed-upon deadline will be met,” said Costa Filho, the director of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry’s international Negotiations department, during a news conference in Brasilia.

Negotiations with the EU began in 1995, but stagnated in 2004 due to differences over the trade of goods and only picked up again in 2010.

In that year, both parties agreed to present a list of goods for which each bloc would be willing to eliminate tariffs for their mutual exchange, establishing 2013 as the deadline to submit them.

With this offer, Mercosur and the EU will be set to negotiate the part of the potential accord that has emerged as the largest obstacle to agreement: the elimination of tariffs.

Herald with DyN, AP

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