Brazil and Argentina on Wednesday agreed to work together to modernize the South American trade bloc Mercosur (Southern Common Market) to make it more “streamlined” and “relevant.”
The agreement was reached when visiting Argentine President Mauricio Macri met with his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia.
In a joint statement following their private meeting, both said they agreed “to review the common external tariff, improve access to markets and make progress on easing trade and regulatory convergence” within the framework of the Mercosur bloc.
Macri’s government currently holds the rotating presidency of the bloc founded in the early 1990s by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
“We agree on the importance of enhancing the bloc along with the other partners – Paraguay and Uruguay – and proposing a new work agenda,” Bolsonaro said after the meeting, according to news agency Agencia Brasil.
“The goal is to build a streamlined Mercosur, which continues to make sense and be relevant,” he said while calling for reducing trade barriers and red tape.
Bolsonaro and Macri also pledged to promote prompt responses to “matters of trade and investment, regulatory convergence, easing of trade, easing the flow of tourists, consular cooperation, (and) technological and industrial cooperation in the areas of defense, nuclear, space and satellites.”