Merkel hopes for ‘fair’ EU-Mercosur trade deal

Angela Merkel's delayed meeting with Donald Trump took place on Friday due to a snow storm. [360b/ Shutterstock]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday (4 February) that she would work toward securing a “fair” free-trade deal between the EU and Mercosur, the South American economic bloc.

Her comments, posted in her weekly video message, came ahead of a visit by Uruguay’s President Tabaré Vázquez to Berlin on Wednesday (8 February).

“We are fundamentally in favour of international trade agreements, which is why we are very happy with the effort in the Mercosur countries” to reach a deal with the European Union, Merkel said.

“It’s a matter of reaching a fair deal, where Europe’s interests are taken into account just as are those of Latin America.”

Brussels continues pursuit of elusive Mercosur trade deal

Argentine President Mauricio Macri met with Internal Market Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska on Tuesday (6 December) to discuss strengthening ties between the European Union and the Mercosur trading bloc. EURACTIV Spain reports.

But she acknowledged that discussions over EU access for Mercosur’s agricultural products would be “a difficult subject”, given the large EU subsidies for its farmers.

Mercosur brings together Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela – although the latter’s participation has been suspended for failing to meet democratic and trade standards.

The next round of EU-Mercosur trade talks are set for March.

Mercosur to consider trade deal with United Kingdom

The EU and South America’s Mercosur bloc could strike a free trade deal within two years, according to Argentina’s Commerce Secretary Miguel Braun. After Brexit, Mercosur would be open to a separate trade deal with the UK.

They will be held against a backdrop of US President Donald Trump’s hostility to international trade deals, including his decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

He is widely expected to drop any attempt to seal a free-trade deal with the EU, and has also lashed out at NAFTA, the accord between Canada, Mexico and the United States, calling it on Thursday (2 February) a “catastrophe for our county.”

Europe moves to pick up free trade scraps as Trump ditches TPP

President Donald Trump signed an executive order formally withdrawing the United States from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal yesterday (23 January) as Europe sniffed a chance to pick up the free trade the US is turning its back on.

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