The president of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, said during the Summit of Heads of State of Mercosur and Associated States in Luque, Paraguay, that if the bloc does not want to adhere to the free trade agreement that the country is negotiating with China, Uruguayans will sign the pledge alone.
“We will not give up this right”, said Lacalle Pou during his speech this Thursday (21) . The president said that Uruguay has already completed the feasibility studies for the agreement with China and that it is not “an initiative of this government, but of two, three governments already.”
“The The first thing we want to do is talk to Mercosur partners, let’s all go together. (We want to) move in that direction, and if we can go with partners, even better. We are going to invite them to come together as a bloc with more negotiating power”, he justified.
However, Lacalle Pou then added that Uruguay will follow the negotiations even if the other Mercosur countries do not decide accompany you.
“If not, let’s move on. This does not violate or break the association. There will be another Argentine president, another Brazilian, another Uruguayan, and Mercosur will continue to exist. We understand the other countries, but we ask for understanding in this case”, he pointed out.
Argentina is the main opponent of an isolated agreement between Uruguay and China. In his speech, Argentine President Alberto Fernández called for joint negotiations and that the countries of the bloc “do not get carried away with the idea of seeking individual solutions”.
“If there is an opportunity for China has an agreement with Mercosur, why don’t we analyze it together, why don’t we see the feasibility together? Because the agreement will be much more important if we include the 200 million inhabitants that Brazil has, this agreement will be much stronger”, he justified.