A Mercosur free trade agreement could be signed by China and South Korea
China and South Korea are interested in signing a free trade agreement with the Mercosur nations (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay), informs Nikkei Asian Review.
Both Asian countries have expressed their interest in developing a deal with Mercosur nations due to the protectionist policies imposed by the US.
Formal negotiations for a free trade deal between South Korea and the South American bloc is to be started by June as South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon agreed last month with Brazilian President Michel Temer.
South Korea has also a similar deal signed in February with 5 other countries in South America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama).
Meantime, China is approaching the same market through Uruguay, an important partner in agricultural trade, especially beef. Data from 2016 shows that China occupied a 15% ratio in the Mercosur exports, compared to 11% directed to the US.
In fact, with the exception represented by the green light for US pork exports to Argentina, White House didn’t develop any new contacts in the region since Donald Trump was elected president.
Since the beginning of the year, Canada has shown a growing interest in signing a free trade agreement with Mercosur nations and the latest signals coming from Argentina suggest that a deal is to be soon perfected.
Another round of discussion with EU is to be held in Brussels this week but with small chances of closing a deal anytime soon as the European bloc has put a halt on poultry products from 20 Brazilian plants, blowing up 35% of the country’s chicken exports.
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