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Weekly Report - 04 July 2019 (WR-19-26)

Mercosur seals EU trade deal but political trials lie ahead

The world’s longest-running trade saga has reached its conclusion. After over 19 years of vicissitudes the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) has struck a trade deal with the European Union (EU). The deal could still be derailed. It faces some significant political hurdles. The French government, in particular, made it clear that ratification was far from a fait accompli. And then three is the political uncertainty in Argentina. President Mauricio Macri celebrated the trade deal as a historic achievement, but he might not be in power come December, and the current frontrunner in opinion polls ahead of October’s presidential elections, Alberto Fernández, was fiercely critical of the deal. The Kirchnerista wing of the main opposition Partido Justcialista (PJ, Peronists), for which Fernández is standing along with former president Cristina Fernández (2007-2015), is intrinsically protectionist.

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