January 25, 2023 17:09 GMT
Lacalle Pou And Lula Pledge To Strengthen Mercosur And Discuss China
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Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva have pledged to improve Mercosur amid concerns that free trade agreements with China could undermine the strength of the trade bloc.
- Lacalle Pou told reporters hat Uruguay and Brazil will establish "a technical team... to define what we need in the negotiation with China."
- Lacalle Pou: "We belong to Mercosur and that position does not change, we want a modern, flexible Mercosur that is open to the world."
- Argentina's Buenos Aires Times: "The strong differences within the bloc were evident at the last Mercosur summit, held in December in Montevideo. In particular, the partners reproached the Uruguayan government for launching negotiations with China without their consent, as required by the group's rules."
- Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira said on Sunday that an agreement struck between China and Uruguay could "destroy" the bloc's Common External Tariff.
- Vieira: "Mercosur is not the same as when it was created. We have to look at the needs of each country and the asymmetries that exist, and see if some kind of concession can be made."