EU completes latest round of trade negotiations with Mercosur
The fifth negotiating round between the European Union and Mercosur since the resumption of formal talks in October last year was held from 6 to 10 November in Brasilia. This round follows on from the round from 2 to 6 October, also held in Brasilia. Mercosur is the trade grouping which in these negotiations includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
This round allowed for substantive progress towards an agreement in all areas, including the negotiating texts on goods, services, government procurement, sanitary and phyto-sanitary matters, intellectual property, geographical indications, trade and sustainable development, small and medium enterprises, technical barriers to trade and dispute settlement and other horizontal provisions. In addition to this work, both sides made steps to prepare for an exchange of improved market access offers. Negotiators also agreed on dates for the next round, which will straddle the last week of November and the first week of December.
Both sides confirmed their commitment to conclude an agreement that will be greatly beneficial for all before the end of the year.
In the margins of the round, negotiators from both sides met with representatives of Mercosur’s Economic and Social Consultative Forum and of the European Economic and Social Committee, which bring together trade unions, employers and civil society, and on a separate occasion with other interested stakeholders of Mercosur.
Vice-President Katainen also visited Argentina and Brazil last week, meeting different counterparts to discuss the preparations for the final phase of these negotiations, amongst other things.