Itamaraty wants a free reign to negotiate FTA’s without Mercosur
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs analyses the possibility of revoking Mercosur ruling that establishes that members can only negotiate free trade agreements as a bloc. The measure aims to grant Brazil the possibility of negotiating these agreements independently.
Acknowledging that Brazil has only assigned three bilateral agreements with Egypt, Palestine and Israel, within Mercosur, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. José Serra, stated that Brazil should soften Mercosur rules on stablishing agreements in order to allow the country to benefit from negotiating bilateral agreements with a wide range of partners in a more independent, agile and bold manner.
In order to revoke Mercosur ruling, Brazil would need the support of all four members. Although Paraguay and Uruguay have always supported the idea of negotiating trade agreements independently, Argentina remains against it, due to the fact that important sectors for Argentinian economy, such as footwear and machinery, could be harmed by the loss of Mercosur’s markets. Nevertheless, Brazil expects that Argentinean opposition becomes politically unsustainable, since the majority of Mercosur’s members are favorable to this change.
Amongst Brazilian priorities is the establishment of bilateral agreements with Canada, Japan, South Korea, Tunisia, India, Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and others. This new shift in the Brazilian foreign policy displays the Brazilian Government’s interest in ensuring a “qualified insert” of Brazil in the intentional economy and its compromise with improving the Brazilian economic scenario.