19 Facts About Mercosur


Southern Common Market, commonly known by Spanish abbreviation Mercosur, and Portuguese Mercosul, is a South American trade bloc established by the Treaty of Asuncion in 1991 and Protocol of Ouro Preto in 1994.

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Mercosur's origins are linked to the discussions for the constitution of a regional economic market for Latin America, which go back to the treaty that established the Latin American Free Trade Association in 1960, which was succeeded by the Latin American Integration Association in the 1980s.

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Mercosur's purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency.

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Since its foundation, Mercosur's functions have been updated and amended many times; it currently confines itself to a customs union, in which there is free intra-zone trade and a common trade policy between member countries.

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In 2019, the Mercosur had generated a nominal gross domestic product of around 4.

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Mercosur was finally established in 1991 by the Treaty of Asuncion, based on the Buenos Aires Act, the Treaty of Asuncion defined rules and conditions for the creation of a free trade zone among its four signatories.

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In 2001, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the bloc's creation, the Mercosur flag was hoisted for the first time at Mercosur's headquarters in Montevideo.

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Subsequently, on 29 June 2012, in response to Fernando Lugo's summary dismissal of the presidency, the Mercosur presidents decreed the Paraguayan suspension until the next presidential election, in April 2013.

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On 7 July 2015, the heads of Mercosur having decided to accept Bolivia's request to become a full member country, Bolivian president Evo Morales signed the Brasilia protocol.

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On 5 August 2017, the foreign ministers of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil affirmed that Venezuela's membership in Mercosur is suspended indefinitely in response to the "rupture of the democratic order" in that country following the 30 July 2017 Constituent Assembly elections.

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Mercosur is composed of 5 sovereign member states: Argentina; Brazil; Paraguay; Uruguay and Venezuela ; and 7 associated states: Suriname, Guyana, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Bolivia, this latter in process of incorporation ; Plus two observer states: Mexico and New Zealand.

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Mercosur has a population of 284 million among its full member states.

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Almost all Mercosur nations have significant indigenous American populations, especially in Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil .

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Group is the executive body of Mercosur, and is coordinated by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the member states.

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Products coming from outside of Mercosur are highly taxed so that local companies do not feel the need to compete with large international companies.

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Some South Americans see Mercosur as giving the capability to combine resources to balance the activities of other global economic powers, especially the North American Free Trade Agreement and the European Union.

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Development of Mercosur was arguably weakened by the collapse of the Argentine economy in 2001 and it has still seen internal conflicts over trade policy, between Brazil and Argentina, Argentina and Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil, etc.

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In 2004, Mercosur signed a cooperation agreement with the Andean Community of Nations trade bloc and they published a joint letter of intent for future negotiations towards integrating all of South America.

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Mercosur signed free trade agreements with Israel in December 2007, with Egypt in August 2010, the State of Palestine in December 2011 and Lebanon on 18 December 2014.

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