‘Mercosur ready for exchange of market access offers in April’, says Miguel Braun, Argentina’s Commerce Secretary

Joanna Sopinska, Trade Editor for EU Trade Insights, is joined by Miguel Braun, Argentina’s Commerce Secretary during his first official visit to the EU Capital to discuss the future of EU-Argentina’s trade relations.  After a long stalemate Argentina and other Mercosur countries are ready, according to Braun to re-launch negotiations with the EU on a free trade agreement (FTA).

The future Mercosur-EU deal is seen by the new Argentinian government of President Mauricio Macri as a “window of opportunity” to significantly deepen relations with the EU.  Buenos Aires is interested not only in abolishing tariffs but also tighter cooperation in the area of public procurement and services.

Since the official re-launch of the EU-Mercosur negotiations in 2010, both parties have on many occasions declared a willingness to progress with their free trade negotiations, launched over a decade ago (in 2000). However, while Brazil and Uruguay have been pushing for an ambitious proposal to meet the EU’s expectations, Argentina has been reluctant to open up its economy. Now the four Mercosur founding countries (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru) are in favour of speeding up the talks with the EU, which according to Braun creates a “historic window of opportunity.”

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