South America Trade Agreements

The EU is already Mercosur`s main trading and investment partner and the second largest trading partner in goods. Analysts say new leadership in Argentina and Brazil, as well as Venezuela`s suspension, have given Mercosur the opportunity to revive its early goals. The bloc resumed trade negotiations with the European Commission in 2017 and officials reached a landmark draft agreement in June 2019, 20 years after negotiations began. The agreement, which eliminates tariffs on around 90% of Mercosur`s exports to the EU over a ten-year period and opens public procurement to suppliers in both blocs, must now be ratified by all EU and Mercosur member states. Analysts warn that populist politicians and political interest groups on both sides of the Atlantic could again delay progress. In South America, most of the commercial predation comes from manufacturers, especially car companies, which have historically been protected from European competition by high tariffs. In Europe, the agricultural sector is concerned about cheap imports from Mercosur countries. This is particularly the case for Belgium, France, Ireland and Poland, all of which have politically influential beef producers. Meanwhile, Brazil`s Deputy Economy Minister announced that Mercosur was also negotiating free trade agreements with Canada and South Korea. In addition, the Committee on Trade should decide on the issues raised by Member States regarding the application and respect of common sea tariffs and other common trade policy instruments.

The Commission meets at least once a month, at the request of the Executive Agency Mercosur or a Member State. The Commission can make decisions on the management and implementation of trade policies decided within the framework of the Southern Common Market and, if necessary, submit proposals to the executive body to regulate the territories under its control; In addition, it may propose new guidelines or amend existing trade and customs guidelines under Mercosur. In this context, the Committee on Trade may propose a change in import duties on certain posts within the framework of common external tariffs, including cases related to the development of mercosur`s new production activities. In order to better achieve its objectives, the Trade Commission can set up technical committees to manage and monitor the work it refines. It can also adopt internal operating rules. The proposals and decisions of the Trade Commission are taken by consensus among the representatives appointed by each member country.