Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Pnma: EU and Mercosur lock-out the U.S.? What about Caricom?

-- The European Union and MERCOSUR are lurching closer towards finalizing a free trade agreement.

-- In trade talks that have gestated for almost a decade, the EU and MERCOSUR have each made serious concessions in order to reach a compromise.

-- Brazil is becoming a super player in the international arena and a MERCOSUR trade pact with the EU could propel it forward into stardom.

-- An EU-MERCOSUR trade agreement would hold serious implications for Western Hemispheric commerce and politics.

-- How will Washington counteract an unwelcomed as well as enhanced European hemispheric presence?

-- Can the United States salvage its present poor relations with Latin America and be able to guide the uncertain future of FTAA negotiations?
The big question is, will Caricom nations, which are being stiffed by the EU over bananas and sugar, side with the EU and Mercosur over the U.S.? Does Caricom know on which side its bread is buttered? Will the EU demand that Mercosur countries implement high taxation and other policies that are disastrous for economic growth?

Without economic reform, and given the way Mercosur countries are going, this alliance that is supposed to be a check to U.S. economic power will most likely bomb. It's all in the policies.

Read the whole story.

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