Mercosur trade proposal imminent – Argentina

A trade proposal from the Mercosur bloc countries for Europe to consider, may be imminent, according to Argentina.

Argentine Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich has said there has been significant progress in relation to a deal and a proposal may be ready to put to the EU for consideration by the end of the month.

A Mercosur trade deal has been delayed on numerous occasions since negotiations began in the late 1990s. The most recent talks have seen the Mercosur bloc looking for greater market access for agriculture, while the EU has focused on greater access for manufacturing and services. According to Capitanich, any deal with the EU would defend Argentine industry, production and commerce.

Farming organisations across Europe, including the IFA, have been critical of Mercosur trade proposals to date. The IFA has said an unfair deal will significantly affect Irish beef and pork sectors. It said the use by the EU of agriculture as the main bargaining chip in negotiations with the Mercosur bloc is unacceptable.

A technical meeting is due to take place on April 29 between some of the Mercosur countries. The Mercosur countries include Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela and Uruguay.