MercoPress | 7 May 2018
Uruguay: No position on the FTA with Chile after an official plenary
The plenary of the leftist coalition Broad Front concluded on Sunday with a motion that postergates de decision over the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Chile, defining to leave the decision on whether or not to support the agreement, delaying the debate to a future plenary whose date is not yet defined. The decision was voted after counting an erroneous sum of the votes in the first instance in which the motion to debate the issue in the plenary had won. However, the votes of the Communist Party of Uruguay (PCU) had been put on the wrong side.
Economy Minister Danilo Astori said that the government’s opening policy is not supported and reacted to this resolution questioning what the bases and sectors of the Broad Front voted for. The motion is blocked by the Parliament since it was signed in 2016 due to the resistance of some sectors of the Broad Front.
The vote to postergate the debate finally went 80 in 157 votes.
“The opening of Uruguay to the world is a fundamental guideline for the country, it is absolutely essential. And that’s why the Broad Front program is an opening program, approved by a Congress. However, yesterday in the National Plenary triumph a motion that does not have the same openness that has the Broad Front program. A motion was approved that establishes restrictions no longer to the signature with Chile but to the signature of treaties of this type with any country or any block”, criticized Astori.
According to la diaria, The plenary of the FA had approved a series of guidelines that directed the Executive not to sign more FTAs in the so-called “last generation” formats. These formats are those used, for example, by the Pacific Alliance.
As stated by the Foreign Ministry authorities, with this FTA Uruguay began to insert itself with respect to the regulations of the “new world trade negotiations”. According to Casa Grande sector -which supports the blockade of the FTA-, the problem is that “in these new negotiations there is no real margin to contemplate (commercial) asymmetries. Special and differential treatment disappears. To consider that there are no asymmetries between Chile and Uruguay is, at least, questionable.”
“With the FTA Uruguay is confirming and reaffirming the will to advance in an insertion that makes the conditions of Mercosur more flexible and puts it to play in the big leagues of pure and hard trade liberalization,” says Casa Grande in a press statement.
Initially, the motion to move the debate to the ruling party bloc had triumphed, a position that some of the largest sectors of the coalition folded. However, it was soon discovered that this result was due to the fact that the votes of the Communist Party (PCU) had been placed in the wrong pile. “Those things happens”, Broad Front’s president, Javier Miranda said at a press conference.