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Brazilian industry union sees difficulties at Mercosur-EU trade talks

July 15th, 2010


Differences between Mercosur members have made it difficult for Brazil to have direct negotiations with the EU, said a Brazilian union leader on Wednesday.

“If we were alone, it would be easier. It is clear that together we strengthen the economic issue, but on the other hand, there are differences between the Mercosur members,” Robson Andrade, president of Brazil‘s National Confederation of Industry (CNI), said during the Fourth Brazil-EU Business Meeting.

The seminar was conducted in parallel with a summit between Brazil and the EU being held here in the Brazilian capital, which was attended by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, EU President Herman van Rompuy, and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.

Mercosur, or the Common Market of the South, is a bloc composed of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

The leaders discussed the ongoing talks for a free trade agreement between Mercosur and the 27-member EU, which resumed in May after being suspended for six years.

The EU accused Argentina of seeking protectionism and asked it to stop blocking imports from Europe.

Brussels said it would file a complaint with the WTO over the issue, saying it was threatening the FTA negotiations between the two blocs.

According to Andrade, the trade talks are moving very slowly because of the global economic crisis, the appreciation of the Brazilian currency, the real, and the tax burden.

The CNI president also expressed his dissatisfaction with the protectionism adopted by developed countries. “We are an open market economy and we have faced problems with more closed markets, including non-tariff barriers,” he said.


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