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Brazil & Southern Cone - February 2019

Argentina-Chile FTA paves way for expanded trade relations

After months deliberation, on 9 January Chile’s senate ratified the recently signed new free trade agreement (FTA) with Argentina by 34 votes to one. During the G-20 summit held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in November 2018, Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera met his Argentine counterpart Mauricio Macri to discuss the ultimate viability of the deal, which had been signed in 2017 following more than a year of negotiations, and now that it has been ratified it is hoped that it will complement the current trade arrangements between the two countries as well as provide a blueprint for similar deals between Pacific Alliance member Chile and other Southern Common Market (Mercosur) member countries. The agreement, known as ‘Protocol 61’, includes new rules for e-commerce alongside regulations relating to gender, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the environment, and labour laws. It is hoped that the deal could invigorate Argentina’s economy and stimulate a recovery from the protracted period of crisis the country has experienced.

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