Business

Why hasn’t Mercosur taken off?

mercosur temer macri
Mercosur has become all about Brazil and Argentina. Photo: PR

The date was January 31, 1998.

Around 2,000 world leaders were congregated in the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the World Economic Forum. The list included German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and the United States’ First Lady Hillary Clinton.

It was when then-Argentinian president Carlos Menem introduced an ambitious idea: a common currency for Mercosur.

“We’re following the European Union’s steps,” said Menem. “But, what took [Europe] almost 50 years, it would take us a tenth of that time.” Going by the expressions of the Brazilian officials and other South American representatives in the audience,...

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