director Jair Bolsonaro This Friday (26th), at a memorial meeting on the 30th anniversary of Mercosur, defended the expansion of trade talks with countries outside the block.
The meeting was held through videoconferencing due to the Kovid-19 epidemic. In addition to Bolsonaro, the other presidents of the bloc participated: Alberto Fernandez (Argentina), Luis Lacalle Pau (Uruguay) and Mario Abdo (Paraguay).
Bolsonaro in Mercosur: ‘We urgently need to reverse the huge damage caused by the epidemic’
In December 2020, Uruguay introduced a formal proposal for MERCOSUR members to have the autonomy to enter into agreements with other blocks or countries with different speeds. Flexibility has also been advocated by the Bolsanaro government. Under MERCOSUR rules, agreements are to be made jointly by four countries.
Bolsonaro said on Friday that Brazil expressed willingness to count in support of continuing to expand the network of additional regional trade negotiations and to promote a new virtue cycle in Mersuer, in support of expanding the network of additional regional trade negotiations . meeting.
The President also stated that the rule of unanimous decisions cannot become a permanent veto or a break for the “modernization” of the block. The rule states that decisions are to be made by agreement of all members.
“The difference in perspective that exists between us, whether political or economic, should not affect the progress of the integration project, as long as the principles that guided the bloc are respected. We understand that the consensus rule cannot be changed to a means of veto or permanent break. The principle of flexibility is written in the Essen Treaty itself.
Bolsonaro stressed that any political differences between members of the bloc cannot affect integration or economic development in the region. The president belongs to a political arena unlike the Argentine President Alberto Fernandez. In Argentina’s presidential election, in late 2019, Bolsonaro supported Fernandez’s rival, the then President Mauricio Macri.
Bolsonaro defends trade expansion with countries outside Mercasur
Even after Fernandez’s election, Bolsonaro continued to criticize the president-elect. Bolsonaro and Fernandez never met in person. In 2020, the epidemic limited the displacement of heads of state. But in the last month of december The two had already attended a bilateral video meeting and a virtual Mercosur meeting..
The President leaves before the meeting ends
Bolsonaro left Mercasur’s videoconference before the meeting was over. After concluding his speech, he went to the official residence of the Senate, where Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco (Dem-MG) held a video conference with the governors to address the fight against the epidemic,
The other three presidents of other MERCOSUR countries continued in the block meeting. Bolsonaro’s absence was noted by Argentine Chancellor Felipe Sola when he greeted the attendees.
Solo said, “Jair Bolsonaro from Brazil, what I’m seeing is not there, but I still want to say hello.”
In the image below, taken from the broadcast of the meeting by the Argentine government, it is possible to see the screen corresponding to Bolsonaro, while the other chairmen continued the meeting.
President Alberto Fernandez (back) interacts with the presidents of Paraguay, Mario Abdo (center) and Uruguay, Lacalle Pau (right), while no one is on screen in Brazil (left), since the Bolero car was gone – Photo: Reproduction
Bolsonaro defended the amendment of the common external tariff of Mercosur, which applies to the countries of the block, “as a central part of our mobility recovery process”. The Brazilian government wants to reduce rates by 10%, according to the Ministry of Economy. The common external tariff establishes uniform rates for the purchase and sale of a range of products between countries.
“For this reason, Brazil wants to highlight the importance of the extraordinary meeting that our ministers are going to hold in April to decide on the agenda and modalities of the external talks of Mersoour and on the revision of the common external tariffs, as That has been proposed. ” Brazil ”, said Bolsonaro.
The Argentine president, Alberto Fernandez, however, disagreed, which makes it difficult to modify the models defended by Brazil.
Fernandez said at the meeting that he did not believe that a partial or linear reduction in tariffs was the best tool for the block. He said that Argentina has a viable proposal to correct any discrepancies in order to maintain a balance between sectors of the economy.
President Joey Bolsonaro did not wear a mask during his video conferencing speech at the Mercasur event. He was accompanied by ministers Ernesto Araújo (Foreign Affairs) and Paulo Guades (Economy) in both masks.
Ernesto appeared next to the president at a time of strong political pressure to leave the minister. This week, in a meeting with the authorities and Bolsonaro himself, Ernesto heard from the mayor, Arthur Lira (PP-AL), that the management of foreign affairs should be more efficient in discovering vaccines against Kovid-19.
At another time, at a hearing in the Senate, in which Ernesto was present, the senators asked him to step down, in view of which he considers Itamarti’s inability in the epidemic.
In his speech at Mercosool, Bolsonaro stated that he has reaffirmed “solidarity with families” and deep regret for the loss of life and the sufferings caused by the epidemic for our people.
He also advocated increasing trade between countries to offset the economic effects of the epidemic.