Brazil, Argentina agree on framework to lower Mercosur tariffs

(Reuters) – Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero and Brazilian counterpart Carlos Alberto Franco França on Friday agreed on a framework to reduce Mercosur’s common external tariff, the two countries said.

Members of Mercosur, a common market formed by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, have for years discussed a tariff reduction to help increase trade between Mercosur countries and the rest of the world.

“This is an important step towards increasing competitiveness,” Argentina and Brazil said in a statement.

The statement said Brazil and Argentina agreed to work with Paraguay and Uruguay for the prompt approval of a 10% tariff reduction.

Brazil earlier in the day said it favored modernizing the rules that govern the Mercosur trade bloc and reducing tariffs, calling on the group’s partners for talks.

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