Argentina wants to stop negotiating with the European Union

Argentina would be trying to prevent Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay to negotiate individually a schedule for opening markets with the European Union (EU), within the framework of the free trade agreement with Mercosur. Technicians of the two blocs gathered last March in Brussels did not reach an agreement because of the lack of ambition of the Mercosur proposal, says the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo. Brazil and Argentina are in disagreement and Brazilian representative would have mentioned the existence of a B plan, which would consist of different rhythm for opening markets in each country.

However, Argentina would have blocked this option, fearful that their products could replaced by European ones in the Brazilian market, one of the most important for Argentina. According to the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, for the President of Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, the proposal would be “incompatible with the deeper integration of the bloc”.

Europeans would be disappointed by the possibility of a “grace period” for some products regarding the reduction of import tariffs. Argentina is insisting on this term, which would take certain products to be subject to the free market only in 15 years. While Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay already included 87% of the products on an offer to the EU, Argentina says that it will not open more than 82% of its market. Mercosur and EU are trying to resume negotiations that were braked since 2003.

Source: Folha de São Paulo