On March 9, 2018, Canada’s Minister of International Trade met with the Ministers of the Mercosur member states in Asunción, Paraguay. Mercosur is a South American trade bloc with five full members: Argentina; Brazil; Paraguay; Uruguay; and Venezuela (suspended since December, 2016). It was established by the Treaty of Asunción in 1991 and supplemented by the Protocol of Ouro Preto in 1994 with the purpose of promoting free trade and greater movement of goods and services between the member states.
At the conclusion of their meeting, the Ministers agreed to start negotiations towards a comprehensive free trade agreement between Canada and Mercosur member states. They will seek to negotiate on issues such as market access for goods and services, small and medium-sized enterprises, and the environment.
The bilateral trade between Canada and Mercosur member states amounted to $8.9 billion in 2017. Mercosur member states have a combined population of 260 million and GDP of over $3 trillion. A free trade agreement with Mercosur could provide Canadian businesses with increased access to the South American market, and this could help create jobs in Canada.
Martin Aquilina is an international business lawyer. He has extensive experience in advising Canadians doing business overseas as well as foreign companies wishing to expand their business into Canada.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss your issue with a lawyer, contact Martin today. 613-747-2459 ext.308, [email protected]