Mercosur harmful to Brazil over last decades: Guedes

The economy minister spoke during an international conference

Published in 09/06/2021 - 12:03 By Pedro Rafael Vilela - Brasília

Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes stated on Tuesday (Jun. 8) that being a member of Mercosur has been harmful to Brazil. Joining the bloc, he argued, has brought market expansion in the country to a halt.

“The fact that we’re [in Mercosur] has caused damage to Brazil in the last 30 years. Brazil is trading less with our Mercosur partners today than 20 years ago. It was a trap. It has prevented Brazil from engaging in a more productive industrial integration in global chains,” he stated during an online conference of Bradesco BBI, in London.

Guedes mentioned that Brazil plans to “unilaterally” reduce import tariffs. “We’re also talking to our friends in Mercosur, because we want a flexible and modern Mercosur,” he declared.

The minister once again advocated Brazil’s efforts to join the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and said the government has adopted all measures to adapt to the rules required for the bloc.

Environmental issues

Speaking at the conference, Paulo Guedes said it is clear for the government that the future is both digital and green, but recognized that Brazil has faced problem in the environmental arena. He also said that the federal government has made close contact with United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. The US has become the leader of the debate on environment internationally.

“It is true we have problems with deforestation, with the illegal occupation of land, and we’re alert in this regard. In the last three months, we’ve made close contact with Mr. Kerry, who is the man appointed by [US] President [Joe] Biden to discuss environmental issues with Brazil.”

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Fábio Massalli / Nira Foster

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