Latin America

Gulf between Uruguay and other Mercosur members grows wider

The trade bloc’s smallest member continues to obstruct efforts to reduce the common external tariff in a ploy to drive a change to Mercosur rules allowing for negotiations with third parties

lacalle pou mercosur
Uruguayan President Lacalle Pou during the Dec. 17 Mercosur Summit. Photo: Presidencia de la República/URU

Uruguay was conspicuously absent from a joint statement issued in the wake of the Mercosur heads of state summit held on 17 December. The trade bloc’s three other members – Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay – committed themselves to reaching an agreement on revising the customs union’s common external tariff (TEC). 

Brazil was the host of the latest Mercosur summit, one which was meant to be the trade bloc’s first in-person event since the start of the coronavirus pandemic but was moved online a week before, without official explanation. Officials cited concerns over the Covid-19 Omicron variant, though there was...

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