Experts deeply split on prospects for quick EU-Mercosur free trade deal

The Buenos Aires Herald runs a story today with the opinion of many specialists regarding the possible signing of a free trade deal between Mercosur and the European Union (EU) after 15 years of negotiations. The experts heard by the paper come from a wide spectrum of Argentine academia and offer interesting opinions on the matter.

Good prospects

Aníbal Jozami, the dean of the public Tres de Febrero University, said that one positive aspect is that business groups from São Paulo and sectors of the the Brazilian government believe that levels of protectionism have to be lowered if an FTA is to be struck. Another expert, Jorge Castro, former planning secretary during the Menem administration, believes Argentina has adapted itself to the point where its commercial offers have much in common with its Mercosur partners, increasing the chances of a deal.

Not so upbeat

Juan Gabriel Tokatlian, an international relations professor with the Di Tella private university, doesn’t believe in an FTA in the near future. He says both sides are fed up after 15 years of negotiations and that the main obstacles are Argentina and Brazil’s protectionist policies, with Brazil keen to protect its productive sectors. Tolkian also believes that an FTA with the United States is a more attractive option for the EU at this moment.

Source: Buenos Aires Herald