`Argentina Exits Mercosur Trade Negotiations

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Argentina Exits Mercosur Trade Negotiations

Apr. 28, 2020
Daniel Dawson

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Argentina has announced that it will with­draw from ongo­ing trade nego­ti­a­tions being under­taken by the Mer­co­sur, a trad­ing bloc com­posed of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Offi­cials from the country’s for­eign min­istry cited con­cerns over domes­tic eco­nomic strug­gles, the COVID-19 pan­demic and what it per­ceived as the rushed nego­ti­a­tion of a half-dozen free trade agree­ments as its rea­sons for step­ping back.

Argentina made it clear that inter­na­tional uncer­tainty and the state of our econ­omy sug­gest halt­ing progress on those nego­ti­a­tions,” the for­eign min­istry said in a state­ment.

Among the ongo­ing trade deals from which Argentina is bow­ing out are with Canada and South Korea. This is likely to come as a blow for the country’s olive oil exporters as demand for olive oil is steadily grow­ing in both.

Roughly 80 per­cent of Argenti­na’s annual olive oil pro­duc­tion is des­tined for export.

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How­ever, offi­cials from the min­istry empha­sized that Argentina would con­tinue to work sep­a­rately on the imple­men­ta­tion of the pre­vi­ously agreed free trade agree­ment between the Mer­co­sur and Euro­pean Union.

The move would open the doors for tar­iff-free exports of olive oil from Mer­co­sur coun­tries to the E.U. and vice versa, as soon as the agree­ment is rat­i­fied by all 27 Euro­pean mem­ber states. All four Mer­co­sur mem­bers have already signed off on the agree­ment.

Upon rat­i­fi­ca­tion, Argentina is poised to be one of the big win­ners of the agree­ment. The removal of tar­iffs will open up access to emerg­ing and lucra­tive olive oil mar­kets in North­ern Europe for Argen­tine pro­duc­ers.





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