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Bolsanaro’s softens his stance on Mercosur.

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Last August the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsanaro threatened to leave Mercosur- South American trade bloc established in 1991- if Argentina’s opposition led by Alberto Fernandez wins presidency. Eventually, on December 2019, Alberto Fernandez won the presidency over Mauricio Macri (Bolsanaro’s ally), and his stance on Mercosur has softened ever since.

Recenctly, Bolsanaro at the First Virtual Leaders Summit, said that he does not want Brazil to withdraw from Mercosur, and considers the trade block as the ‘best vehicle’ for Brazil’s to open its economy to the world.

The Mercosur is attempting to finalize a trade deal with the European Union. The trade agreement would involve increasing tariff import quotas from Mercosur to the EU block by around half for chicken and beef. Other deals include, tariff import quotas for bioethanol will be increased by a factor of 6, export duties of Argentina’s soya reduced by half. Parliaments and governments of several countries oppose this trade deal since this deal would allow the further destruction of the rainforest. Countries that oppose the deal are Austria, Belgium, France, Netherlands and Ireland.

Uruguayan president, Luis Lacalle Pou said, ‘ We must sign the trade agreement with the European Union’. He added, ‘Protectionism may be a temptation for some countries, particularly the larger ones. The bloc has a duty to finish what it has begun’.

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