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Uruguayan president seeks trade deal with China in MERCOSUR

Uruguayan president seeks trade deal with China in MERCOSUR

Montevideo, Dec 17 (Prensa Latina) Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle will seek a trade agreement between his country and China at the Summit of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), which opens virtually on Friday.

If the two latest meetings at the highest level among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay were already tense and with crossed recriminations, Friday’s meeting does not anticipate a better atmosphere.

In March, Lacalle used the term “burden” to define the blockade, as it prevented his country from closing free trade agreements with third nations, to which his Argentine counterpart, Alberto Fernandez, responded that “if we are a burden, let them take another ship.”

Six months later, the Uruguayan president surprisingly announced the beginning of talks to sign an agreement with China, which in fact would mean the rupture of MERCOSUR as its statutes forbid one of its members to make such a decision.

That kind of understanding must be approved by the bloc, but snags arose as Paraguay was in favor and Uruguay indicated that it would support it in exchange for permission to move forward in its trade agreement talks with China and other countries.


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