Brazil: Foreign Minister Arrives in Argentina to Discuss Tariff Reduction


What Happened: Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo has arrived in Argentina for a two-day visit to present a proposal for eliminating the common external tariff of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), Filo News reported April 9.

Why It Matters: Negotiations between Argentina and Brazil over Mercosur tariffs are expected to be contentious as Buenos Aires will likely call for a more gradual tariff reduction, compared to a more rapid proposal by Brasilia. If negotiations experience a major delay, other trade reform proposals, such as amending Mercosur members’ ability to sign free trade agreements independently, may also become threatened.

Background: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has proposed amending the Mercosur charter to allow its member states to freely sign free trade agreements with other countries outside the bloc. The charter in its current form only allows collective negotiation and signature of such agreements.