Head-to-head confrontation between Alberto Fernandez and Lacalle Poe over free trade agreements with countries outside Mercosur

Uruguay has ratified before Mercosur that it will advance free trade agreements with China and other countries

The Mercosur general meeting was marked by some absences, but mainly because of the climate of tension between the president of Argentina, Alberto Fernandez, and his Uruguayan counterpart, Luis Lacalle Poe, regarding the free trade agreement that was reached between that country and China in the recent past.

In this context, Alberto Fernandez confirmed this “We are not deceived by the idea of ​​separating and looking for individual solutions, with our project reaching me, it is all short-lived”.

“I don’t at all refuse to analyze what my friend Lacalle Poe calls flexibility, I just want us to continue traveling together”The Argentine president said that the agreement with the Asian giant “must be done all together”.

If there is a possibility that China will have an agreement on Mercosur, why not analyze it together?Fernandez raised in the midst of the tensions generated in the bloc as a result of these negotiations.

Louis Lacalle Poe emphasized that the search for a treaty with the Asian power is
Louis Lacalle Poe asserted that the search for a treaty with the Asian power was a “patriotic feeling”.

The Uruguayan president was clear when he took the floor: He will not stop the negotiations. “I have no doubt that the best way to protect ourselves, and my people, is by opening up to the world. This is why Uruguay steps in asking you to understand“, he added.

He stressed that when the negotiations progress, he will invite the other bloc countries to the negotiating table. “The first thing we want to do is talk to the Mercosur partners, all together. (We want) to come forward in that sense, and if we can go with the partners, all the better.” We will invite them to join as a bloc with greater bargaining power“, he added.

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He noted in the absence of a common position: “If not, let’s move on. This does not violate or spoil the association. There will be another Argentine president, another Brazilian, another Uruguay, and Mercosur will continue to exist. We understand other countries, but we ask for understanding in this case“, He said.

It is not an initiative of this government, but an initiative of two or three backward governments. It’s a patriotic feeling“He defended it and revealed it Uruguay has already completed feasibility studies for signing a trade agreement with China.

Alberto Fernandez with Fabiola Yanez upon his arrival in Asuncion to participate in the Mercosur Summit
Alberto Fernandez with Fabiola Yanez upon his arrival in Asuncion to participate in the Mercosur Summit

Next to President Fernandez were Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero, and the Argentine Ambassador to Uruguay, Alberto Iribarn.. To Asuncion too Julio Vitubello, Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic, and Presidential Spokesperson Gabriela Cerruti traveled.

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