South American trade bloc MERCOSUR fails to reach consensus; internal rift deepens

Uruguay announced that it “will begin talks with third parties to negotiate trade agreements outside the zone,” although current Mercosur rules do not contemplate such a scenario.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Foreign and economy ministers of MERCOSUR member countries failed on Wednesday (7) to reach a consensus on key trade policy issues of the bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, deepening the differences between the partners on the direction of the regional integration process.

In the run-up to the bloc's semi-annual summit, the Common Market Council (CMC) meeting held online on Wednesday was disrupted when Uruguay announced to its members that it would begin to negotiate trade agreements with third countries outside the bloc.

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