Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Hours before Obama arrives, Brazil reaffirms its commitment is with Mercosur

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on March 17, 2011

by Merco Press News, March 17th, 2011.

When US president Barack Obama lands in Brazil next Saturday the emphasis of the visit will be on deepening economic relations and potential business opportunities, but Brazil has made it plain clear that any free trade talks with the United States can only take place in the framework of Mercosur.

“I do expect some significant announcements that will take the relationship to the next level,” Steven Bipes, executive director of the Brazil-U.S. Business Council, told reporters.

Those announcements include the possible signing of a trade and investment framework agreement that would create a forum “to discuss ways to expand bilateral trade and could lead eventually to negotiations on a free trade pact”, added Bipes.

However in the past Brazil has insisted that any free trade talks with the United States could only occur with its partners in the trade pact Mercosur, which include Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Itamaraty sources reiterated Brazil’s position and its commitment to Mercosur just a few hours before President Obama arrives in Brasilia. Brazilian diplomats recalled that not so long ago Uruguay was in the process of reaching a free trade agreement with the US but turned it down precisely because of its commitment to Mercosur. (continue reading… )


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