09:58 GMT07 March 2021
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    Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro intends to propose a free trade agreement between South America's Mercosur and the United States, once he takes leadership of the bloc, presidential spokesman Otavio Rego Barros said Tuesday, according to Reuters.

    According to Barros, cited by Reuters, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry already has a draft of the request of agreement for the president's son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, to become the Brazilian ambassador to the United States. Bolsonaro has defended naming his son ambassador, but the appointment would still need to be approved by the Brazilian Senate.

    Mercosur is the common market of four Latin American countries: Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, and Uruguay. The treaty for a customs union and the common market was signed in 1991 in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. Mercosur unites 250 million people and over 75 percent of the cumulative GDP of the continent.

    Bolsonaro advocated earlier the creation of the peso-real, a single currency for Argentina and Brazil, which could later extend to all Mercosur-member countries.

    In June, the European Union and Mercosur agreed on the terms of a trade agreement to enhance economic cooperation and boost sustainable growth, bringing to an end almost 20 years of negotiations.

    Once in force, the deal will eliminate a majority of tariffs between the two blocs by establishing a free trade area. Despite it being touted as an enormous opportunity for European business, countries including Ireland, Italy, and France are reportedly concerned about the deal’s impact on agriculture.

    In 2017, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) aimed at removing trade barriers among its participants, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. According to the US president, Washington would benefit more from bilateral deals rather than multilateral agreements.


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