22 June 1999
Europe agrees to Mercosur talks
EUROPEAN Union foreign ministers have agreed a mandate for the EU Commission to begin negotiating trading agreements with the Mercosur countries and Chile.
The ministers have agreed that talks can begin immediately on removing non-tariff barriers.
The EU has also agreed that negotiations on tariffs and liberalising services should begin on 1 July, 2001.
It wants the talks to be held in parallel to trade liberalisation negotiations under the auspices of the World Trade Organisation.
Spain, despite a strong interest in protecting its own agriculture, pushed for a start to be made on negotiations with the South American trading bloc.
- Financial Times 22/06/99 page 6