LatinNews Daily - 21 July 2022

In brief: Brazil indicates support for relaxation of Mercosur restrictions

* Brazil’s foreign minister, Carlos França, has said that President Jair Bolsonaro’s government is open to a “flexibilisation” of the rules limiting the negotiation of free trade agreements (FTA) by member states of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) with countries outside the trade bloc. “We’re willing to discuss with partners… formats and flexible mechanisms that meet the specific needs of our countries and at the same time preserve the central elements of our integration process,” França said ahead of a Mercosur summit in Paraguay which is taking place today (21 July). He said that Mercosur’s core objective should be “the modernisation of the bloc on various fronts.” The trade bloc, comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, has been divided over Uruguay’s efforts to unilaterally secure an FTA with China. Argentina’s government, led by President Alberto Fernández, has been particularly opposed to any changes in the rules on external trade. Brazil’s government has largely remained on the sidelines of the dispute.

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