March 28, 2017
After five days of discussions, the 27th Round of the Mercosur-European Union Bi-regional Negotiating Committee was successfully concluded last Friday, March 24, in Buenos Aires.
The European Commission reports that significant progress was achieved on the negotiating text in the three parts of the future Association Agreement between both regions: Trade Part, Political Dialogue and Bi-Regional Cooperation.
Negotiators for the Trade Part discussed texts on every area, including, among others, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade facilitation, services, intellectual property rights, government procurement and trade and sustainable development.
The EU-Mercosur negotiations were re-launched in May 2010. Ten negotiation rounds took place mostly focused on rules (as opposed to market access commitments) before negotiations were paused in 2012.
In May 2016, the EU and Mercosur exchanged offers for the first time since the re-launch, followed by a negotiation round in October 2016.
Canada is studying the possibility of free trade negotiations with Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and held exploratory discussions to enhance the trade relationship. A first exploratory meeting was held May 31 and June 1, 2011 in Ottawa and a second October 4 to 6, 2011 in Montevideo, Uruguay. A third exploratory meeting was held May 7-9 2012 in Ottawa.