Latin America

Uruguay eyes limited window of opportunity for trade liberalization

Mercosur's smallest member wants bilateral China deal, but needs to move fast before regional dynamics shift against it

luis lacalle pou uruguay mercosur
Luis Lacalle Pou during his visit to Buenos Aires. Photo: Uruguayan Embassy in Buenos Aires

A meeting between President Luis Lacalle Pou of Uruguay and his Argentine counterpart, Alberto Fernández, this weekend served to ease diplomatic tensions between the countries after last month’s heated Mercosur summit. Both leaders had publicly clashed over the trading bloc’s future, though Uruguay has subsequently made some token concessions so as to placate Argentina and remain on speaking terms with its neighbor. 

Mr. Lacalle Pou has shown, however, that he is not conceding an inch on his Mercosur strategy.

As a customs union, import tariffs and international trade agreements can only be negotiated as a bloc by Mercosur...

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