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LatinNews Daily - 18 October 2021

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In brief: Paraguay and Argentina discuss Mercosur tariff

* Argentina’s Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero has held a meeting with his Paraguayan counterpart, Euclides Acevedo, during which the two men discussed their countries’ bilateral relationship and the strengthening of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) trade bloc, to which Argentina and Paraguay belong along with Brazil and Uruguay. According to statements released by both foreign ministries, Cafiero and Acevedo agreed that a revision of Mercosur’s common external tariff (CET) “is a central element for the upgrading of the bloc”. In a departure from Argentina’s previous position on the issue, Cafiero had previously agreed upon a 10% reduction in the CET with his Brazilian counterpart, Carlos França, after a meeting in Brasília earlier this month. The mooted CET reduction must be approved by all member states to be implemented. Among other things, Cafiero and Acevedo also discussed the reopening of some land border crossings between Argentina and Paraguay; borders have been closed due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.