The day before, in an interview with newspaper, Folha de Sao Paulo, the Brazilian Foreign Minister emphasized that an independent agreement between Uruguay and China would ‘destroy the bloc’ of the Southern Common Market.
‘If you negotiate abroad, you destroy the (common external) tariff. We have to examine it, because Mercosur is not the same as it was at the time of its creation. We have to look at the needs of each one and the asymmetries that exist,’ he said.
Vieira’s statements have being pronounced before the official visit of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, which will take place in this capital on January 25. And although the Brazilian Foreign Minister hinted at the possibility of negotiating the dispute, the truth is that the message is a preview of Lula’s position.
This was also evidenced in the joint article with his Argentinean counterpart Alberto Fernandez, published on the occasion of the Brazilian official visit to Argentina, seen as a return to bilateral strategic ties and focused on economic integration.
Both presidents defended Mercosur as ‘a platform for our effective integration into the world, through joint negotiation of balanced trade agreements which respond to our strategic development objectives’.
Uruguay is negotiating a free trade agreement with China and the Trans-Pacific Partnership outside Mercosur rules, which was a point of disagreement with Argentina at the last summit of the bloc held at the end of 2022 in Montevideo.
Brazil does not agree with Uruguay’s open-minded stance either, but seeks to mediate and find a solution to the disagreement.