Expert warns that Mercosur will not be the way to solve US tariff crisis


RIO DE JANEIRO (Sputnik) – The solution to steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the US to Brazil and Argentina will not be given through Mercosur, said the specialist in the block and in commercial relations Regiane Bressan, professor of the Federal University of Sao Paulo.

"I do not know if Brazil would be interested in doing that negotiation via Mercosur, the issue of tariffs can be discussed at the summit held this week, but I do not believe that the exit is through Mercosur, but in a bilateral negotiation Brazil -EEUU ", estimated the specialist.

On December 4 and 5, the LV summit of Mercosur and associated states will be held in Bento Goncalves (state of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil), marked by the transition to new governments in Argentina and Uruguay and for crisis and protests in several countries of the region.
Bressan believes that although the two main countries of the commercial bloc (Argentina and Brazil) may be harmed by the decision of Donald Trump, neither of them will have an interest in a joint effort to address the problem.

The Mercosur meeting will be attended by the interim president in Argentina, Mauricio Macri, but the elected president Alberto Fernandez, who takes office on December 10, will not attend.

The relationship between Brazil and Argentina tensed when Bolsonaro criticized Fernandez's victory and refused to congratulate him.

For Bressan, there is no immediate provision of Brazil for an understanding.
The two countries had been exempted last year from 10% tariffs on aluminum imports and 25% on steel that the US adopted in the framework of its trade war with China.

But on November 2, Trump announced on Twitter that he would impose those taxes on the two countries in retaliation for the devaluations of their local currencies that detract from the competitiveness of American agricultural products.

"The difficulty of Brazil with the new Argentine government, which will take possession five days after the summit, denotes the difficulties that will be in Mercosur; that and the fact that Brazil invited the Bolivian senator (self-proclaimed president Jeanine Anez), will that it is a summit marked by tensions, which will intensify in the coming months, "he predicted.

The Mercosur summit, in which Paraguay will assume the biannual presidency, will begin with a meeting of the foreign ministers and will continue with the meeting of the heads of government.

That day, the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro will hold a bilateral meeting with his Paraguayan counterpart Mario Abdo Benitez.

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