Canada and Mercosur

Backgrounder

Canada and the Mercosur member states—Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay—have agreed on the strong potential to develop a more ambitious trade relationship by enhancing trade and investment flows through a comprehensive free trade agreement.

In concluding exploratory discussions, Canada and Mercosur concurred that, if they were in agreement to launch comprehensive negotiations, the outcome of negotiations would have to be commercially meaningful, mutually beneficial and balanced.

Both Parties also expressed their interest to include provisions that contribute to broader economic, social and environmental policy priorities, reflecting the objective of allowing for larger participation of civil societies in the shaping of and following up on the agreement.

Canada and Mercosur also agreed on the overall framework of negotiations, such as the timing for a potential first meeting, alternating rounds between Mercosur countries and Canada, and the appointment of spokespersons. The following is the agreed outline for negotiations, with other issues to be added as appropriate:

  • Trade in goods
  • Rules of origin
  • Origin procedures
  • Trade facilitation and customs cooperation
  • Trade remedies
  • Sanitary and phytosanitary measures
  • Technical barriers to trade
  • Trade in services
    • Cross-border trade in services
    • Financial services
    • Temporary entry
    • Telecommunications
  • Investment
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Competition policy and public and private market participants
  • Government procurement
  • Inclusive trade
    • Environment
    • Labour
    • Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises
    • Trade and gender
    • Electronic commerce
  • Horizontal, legal and institutional provisions (including dispute settlement)

A broad range of Canadians, including representatives from industry and business organizations, Indigenous groups, labour unions, civil society, environmental groups and Crown corporations, shared their views on entering into free trade agreement negotiations with Mercosur.

The messages received from Canadians indicate general support for the initiative, noting market expansion opportunities for Canadian businesses in this thriving region, as well as opportunities to address existing non-tariff trade barriers.


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