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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


Switzerland interested in a trade deal with Mercosur despite its own farmers
Swiss Economic Affairs Minister wants to speed up a free trade agreement between Switzerland and Mercosur, but there is concern in the agricultural sector
Brazil and Mercosur negotiate possible trade accord with UK
Due to Brexit, the UK will be excluded from the trade agreement between Mercosur and the EU, and will need to negotiate a separate agreement.
Argentina’s congress ratifies Mercosur-Egypt agreement
Argentina was the only signatory country that hadn’t yet ratified the free trade agreement, which can now go into effect.
EFTA, Mercosur to begin FTA negotiations
Delegations from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states and MERCOSUR met to prepare for the upcoming negotiations of a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.
Brazil wants free trade within MERCOSUR
The Brazilian government has discussed measures to eliminate internal obstacles and make free trade possible between member countries of the Southern Common Market.
New FTA between MERCOSUR and SACU impacts Brazil export process
A new Free Trade Agreement between MERCOSUR and the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) entered into force on 1 April 2016, providing preference margins of 10%, 25%, 50% and 100% for almost 1,050 tariff items on each side.
Mercosur and Unasur establish a platform for the joint purchase of medicines
The historic decision to break barriers to improve access to costly medicines was taken during the “First Extraordinary Meeting of the Ministers of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur).
Lebanon signs Latin American free trade pact
Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil signed a free-trade agreement with the Mercosur countries of Latin America, stressing the importance of maintaining good relations with the bloc.
Mercosur, Pacific Alliance to strengthen ties
Foreign Ministers from both blocs will meet November in Chile to discuss a Free Trade Agreement by 2016.
Brazil wants to speed Mercosur/Pacific Alliance free trade understanding
Brazil will propose next Tuesday during the Mercosur summit that the group and the Pacific Alliance reach an agreement on free trade by the end of the year, according to official sources.

    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)