Background

For more information on how these developments may affect your business, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956 or via email.

Mercosur

Bolivia’s eight-year effort to join the Mercosur trade bloc (which currently comprises Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) appears to be nearing conclusion after the Brazilian Senate voted this week to approve it, according to a Reuters article. An official vote is expected Dec. 7, though the article did not make clear whether that will also be the effective date of Bolivia’s admission.

Korea

An article in Aju Korea Daily reports that Brazil has become the first South American country (and 12th overall) to sign a trade and investment promotion framework with South Korea. Unlike an FTA, the article said, the TIPF does not include tariff negotiations and instead “places importance on enhancing industrial relations.”

A Korea Times article states that Korea and Chile are holding talks this week on upgrading their existing free trade agreement, which is nearly 20 years old, with respect to issues such as goods trade, trade facilitation, intellectual property, labor, the environment, energy, and minerals.

EU/New Zealand

The European Parliament approved Nov. 22 an FTA between the European Union and New Zealand, and the Council of the EU gave its approval Nov. 27. The agreement is now anticipated to take effect within the first six months of 2024 pending completion of New Zealand’s ratification procedure.

According to the European Parliament, the FTA will remove all New Zealand tariffs on EU exports on its entry into force and will lift 98.5 percent of EU tariffs on New Zealand exports after seven years. This FTA is also the EU’s first to include enforceable commitments to the Paris Agreement on climate change and to core International Labor Organization standards.

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