Agreement with Mercosul “is very difficult,” says Canada

Canada would like to negotiate a bilateral free trade agreement with Brazil, because it believes it is unlikely that advances the current negotiations with Mercosul. This indicates that the opposition, mainly from Argentina, more open trade is contributing to leave Brazil increasingly isolated in the intricate system of bilateral and multilateral agreements that are shaping the world trade.

“In Brazil there would be many more opportunities to work bilaterally, if that was possible,” said the Foreign Minister of Canada, John Baird, told a group of journalists in Latin America, which participated in the PRO Value, Service news in real-time value.

“Canada is eager to expand-trade with Brazil. Challenge What are some other members of the pack in terms of reaching a commercial agreement,” said Baird, considered one of the most powerful and influential ministers in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Conservative Stephen Harper.

Asked if he expected to be an agreement with Mercosur, Baird was clear: “It’s difficult, very difficult,” he said. “Not by Brazil, but because of two or three countries.” He declined to name which countries, but obviously this is Argentina and Venezuela, with which Canada has a bad relationship.

Mercosul and Canada already held exploratory meetings to assess the feasibility of opening a formal negotiation of a free trade agreement. Canadian officials indicated, however, that the country is not willing to open negotiations if no reasonable chance of concluding the agreement. Minister Baird’s words suggest that this is unlikely.

Mercosul rules, new trade agreements can only be negotiated by block, not by individual member countries. The European Union has adopted the same standard. Already NAFTA (trade bloc in North America, comprising Canada, USA and Mexico) allows its members to negotiate separately.

To stimulate a path ground to Brazil, one Canadian authority recalled the country’s experience in negotiations with the Andean Pact, which began with the block and eventually completed by only two members (Peru and Colombia), after it became clear that Ecuador and Bolivia did not want to move.

Like Baird, European Union officials recently also highlighted the difficulty of progress in negotiations with Mercosur, mainly due to the resistance of Argentina in opening its market.

Despite facing some challenges similar to those of Brazil – a coin valued, an industry under pressure from foreign competition and increasing dependence on mineral and agricultural commodities – Canada is one of the most open economies in the continent. Along with Mexico and the U.S., as NAFTA (the trade bloc in North America). It has also an agreement with six other countries in the region (Chile, Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama). Canadians just announced the completion of a comprehensive treaty with the European Union and also participate in the negotiation of TPP (Transpacific Partnership), which includes 12 countries of the Americas and Asia.

In the absence of an agreement with Mercosul, Canada strengthens its contact with countries of the Pacific Alliance, the liberal block and pro-trade opening formed by Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru. “We have some priorities in Latin America. Obviously the Alliance Pacific is one of them,” said Minister Baird.

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