BRASILIA – The foreign ministers of Brazil and Argentina agreed on Friday on the need to eliminate trade barriers within Mercosur and forge an accord between the South American bloc and the European Union.
“We have to show the European Union the great commitment that exists in Mercosur to make that accord a reality,” Argentina’s Jorge Faurie said during his first visit to Brazil since becoming foreign minister.
Mercosur, whose other members are Paraguay and Uruguay, has been in talks with the EU on a trade pact for more than a decade.
Concluding a deal with the EU is even more important at a time when some countries are again erecting barriers to imports, Faurie said, while Brazilian counterpart Aloysio Nunes said that Mercosur must take steps to become a “true free-trade zone.”
Brazil, which will next week assume the rotating presidency of Mercosur, is determined “to reach a good understanding with the European Union,” Nunes said.
In the bilateral sphere, the two men said they discussed issues of border security and evaluated progress on measures the two governments adopted in February with the intent of promoting greater economic integration.
Before the talks with Nunes, Faurie met briefly with Brazilian President Michel Temer, who faces the possibility of being suspended from office should lawmakers vote to allow the Supreme Court to try the head of state on corruption charges.