Uruguay says it will push for free trade agreement with China

International Business News  –  The foreign ministers of the four countries of the Southern Common Market of the Americas held a meeting in Paraguay. Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Bustillo said that Uruguay will promote the conclusion of a free trade agreement with China, but the remaining countries have reservations and believe that regional trade negotiations should be conducted.

Bustillo said that Uruguay has always maintained transparency and explained Uruguay’s intentions to all major partners, and believes that Mercosur is an imperfect free trade area that requires an ambitious but pragmatic agenda.

Others, however, stressed the importance of negotiating as a bloc, with Argentine Foreign Minister Cafiro saying a separate trade agreement would distort the rules that the bloc requires members to negotiate by consensus.

Beijing has been seeking closer trade ties with emerging South American markets, and Uruguay President Pou said last week that formal trade talks with China would be launched to boost exports of raw materials, industrialized goods and technology.