21 Jun Brazil defend more flexible rules of Mercosur
21/06/2016 source “Folha de São Paulo”
The Interim Government of Brazil defended the relaxation of a few rules of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur). According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, José Serra, the country was too tied to the clauses of the customs union of Mercosur.
In a ceremony held in São Paulo, the minister Serra said it is necessary to seek a transition, to assess the impacts, crunching numbers and to relax several rules as the one that states that all the countries shall start together negotiations with other unaffiliated nations.
In his opinion, it is possible to relax the common external tariff, to start unilateral negotiations and then incorporate the rest of the partners; also states that “there is no intention to extinction, quite the contrary”. Already in his inauguration speech last May, the Brazilian minister stressed the need to “renew the Mercosur, to correct what needs to be corrected, in order to strengthen it, in first place the same free trade among member countries, which still leaves much to be desired”.
He also states that it is necessary to promote a shared prosperity and continue to build bridges instead of deepening differences with the Alliance for the Pacific – which includes three South American countries, Chile, Peru and Colombia – and that Brazil will no longer restrict “its freedom and initiative of latitude for an exclusive and paralyzing membership of multilateral efforts within the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the interests of the country, as has been happening since the last decade”.
There is no doubt – he recognized – that multilateral WTO negotiations are the only ones that could effectively address the relevant systemic distortions such as those affecting trade in agricultural products. But unfortunately, they did not prosper with the necessary speed and relevance, and Brazil, clinging only to them, remained on the margins of multiplication of bilateral free trade agreements, he lamented.