EU seeking LatAm trade deal
After Japan, the EU is eying Latin America as a privileged trade partner. More in particular, member state Germany seems to be pushing for a swift implementation of an FTA with Mercosur, a trade bloc consisting of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Associate countries of the trade bloc are Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Suriname.
Last week, Reuters reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union must compromise if it wants to reach a trade accord with South American trade bloc Mercosur. The statement came last Thursday after a meeting with Argentine President Mauricio Macri. Merkel said German agriculture had its own interests, but Germany supported Argentina's push to reach a trade deal with the EU quickly.
"Negotiating a free trade agreement is always a difficult matter. And Germany is not always an easy partner," Merkel told reporters. "If there is a will to sign such an agreement ... then we must also make compromises." Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra and EU ambassador to Brazil João Cravinho proposed a 2017 target for reaching a trade agreement. Malcorra said the retreat of the United States from trade talks had opened a window for the European Union to become a strong player in multilateral, region-to-region accords.
Mercosur, which pursues the commercial integration of the South American continent with the ultimate goal to make the member countries more competitive in the global market, began negotiations with the European Union in 1999. These were suspended in 2004 and resumed again in 2010. Associate state Colombia already has its own free trade agreement with the European Union since 2013. | 11/07/2017 | Dieter Quartier