Weekly Report - 28 September 2023 (WR-23-39)

Mercosur needs EU deal to survive

The future of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) is in jeopardy, Brazil’s finance minister, Fernando Haddad, said this week, singling out the prospect of Argentina’s far-right populist candidate Javier Milei winning the country’s upcoming presidential elections. Similar concerns were raised by Argentina when Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2023) came to power, but Milei has openly discussed withdrawing his country from Mercosur which he described last month as “a poor-quality customs union that creates trade distortions and hurts its members”. Haddad said that completing a free trade agreement (FTA) between Mercosur and the European Union (EU) would provide the best answer to the threat posed by Milei.

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