29 March 2018
Canada and Mercosur Launch FTA Talks
Canada and Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) held on 20-23 March a first round of talks on a free trade agreement. According to a press release issued by the Canadian government, a comprehensive, ambitious and progressive FTA with Mercosur would provide improved market access for world-class Canadian goods and create more opportunities for established and first-time exporters to tap a rapidly growing market. Canadian exporters in a number of sectors could benefit from preferential access to a fast-growing market of over 260 million consumers. The press release adds that a successful FTA also has the potential to provide Canadian consumers and businesses with enhanced access to imports of goods and services from Mercosur countries.
Canada originally expressed interest in negotiating an FTA with Mercosur in 2010. The two sides launched exploratory discussions in May 2016, technical talks were held in April and July 2017, and a decision was subsequently made to begin formal FTA discussions. According to Brazilian Minister of Industry, Trade and Services Marcos Jorge, the negotiations showcase Mercosur’s willingness to achieve greater trade openness.