South America’s largest trading bloc is eyeing a deal with the United States. While speaking at a press conference Tuesday, Argentina’s foreign minister said he wants the bloc to enter more of what he calls “commercial marriages” with nations like the U.S. and China.
“Regarding Brazil, when President Bolsonaro visited the United States last March he showed interest in the area of commerce,” said Argentine diplomat Jorge Faurie. “As I mentioned various times before, it is important that the bloc and our members member states be in permanent dialogue and interactions with the principle actors of commerce and with the actors in the global economy.”
Last month the bloc signed a free trade agreement with the EU after more than two-decades of negotiations. If ratified, the agreement will cut tariffs between the two and open up more market access for South America in Europe. This marks the first major trade agreement struck by the bloc, founded by Argentina, Brazil as well as Paraguay and Uruguay.
“The South American bloc and the European Union agree on the benefits, everybody says: ‘it’s great what they have achieved, how can I sell my product? I want to be part of that story, because I can reach a market of a population of 500 million people with high purchasing power’…” explained Foreign Minister Faurie. “Before, not everyone wanted to join us, it was something complicated, bureaucratic — now everybody learned that we have a market, that we are interesting, so we have more marriage proposals”.
The presidents of each of the member states will be holding a summit Wednesday in Argentina.