LatinNews Daily - 26 April 2021

In brief: Brazilís Guedes defends a flexible Mercosur

* Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes has defended the flexibilisation of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) regional trade bloc, notably of its rules for member states to individually negotiate bilateral trade deals. Speaking before the Brazilian senate, Guedes argued that Mercosur members (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) should be allowed to pursue free trade agreements individually, and that this does not represent a rejection of the bloc. “We want to move forward in the direction of modernisation and international integration”, Guedes said, adding that Mercosur, which was founded in 1991, had a successful first decade but has now become “a bubble which has isolated us from the big trade and investment flows”. Guedes also defended the reduction of Mercosur’s common external tariff.