Brexit, Trump will spur EU-Mercosur free trade deal: Brazil

23rd November 2016, Comments 0 comments

The uncertainty caused by Brexit and Donald Trump's election will help spur talks on a long-stalled free trade accord between the EU and South American trade block Mercosur, Brazil's foreign minister said Wednesday.

"I think the possibilities of the Mercosur negotiations (succeeding) have a direct relationship with international insecurity," Jose Serra told a news conference in Madrid when asked about what impact Trump's win could have on the EU-Mercosur free trade talks.

Britain's vote to leave the EU and Trump's victory "could hurt the European Union. But on the other hand it serves as a stimulus, an incentive for an agreement with the European Union," he added.

"Insecurity strengthens the chances of the European Union and Mercosur drawing closer. This is an important point."

The European Union and the Mercosur bloc led by Brazil launched trade negotiations in 1999, which could create a market of 750 million people, but they have faced multiple setbacks.

The talks came to a complete halt in 2004 before resuming again in 2010.

Difficult areas include access to Mercosur for European manufactured goods and EU access for Mercosur's agricultural products, which today face high EU farm subsidies.

The two sides exchanged market access offers in May this year, including lists of imports that each side was prepared to liberalise.

The Brazilian government has expressed concern that the country's recovery from its worst recession since in decades could suffer if Trump makes good on his promises to limit trade.

Trump pledged Monday that the United States would signal its withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact on his first day in the White House and favours raising tarrifs on Chinese goods.

© 2016 AFP

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