LatinNews Daily - 11 September 2023

In brief: Paraguay receives regional backing over Argentina waterway toll

* The governments of Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, and Uruguay have released a joint statement calling on Argentina’s government to suspend the collection of tolls on the Paraguay-Paraná waterway. The toll on the waterway has been an increasing source of tension between Paraguay’s government led by President Santiago Peña and Argentina’s government led by President Alberto Fernández. The statement criticises measures imposed by Argentina’s government that “restrict navigation of the Paraguay-Paraná waterway due to the application of a unilateral and arbitrarily established toll”. The four governments state the toll goes against international regulations and prevents the transit of strategic goods such as fuel, potentially affecting prices. The governments call on Argentina to suspend the application of the toll, to adopt necessary measures to guarantee free navigation, and to abstain from implementing other restrictive measures. On 7 September, Paraguay’s foreign ministry announced it was considering resorting to a permanent review tribunal (TPRM) of the Mercosur trade bloc (comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) in view of the dispute over the waterway.

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