ASSESSMENTS

Brazil's Next President Is Looking to Shake Up Mercosur

MIN READNov 30, 2018 | 12:00 GMT

The headquarters of Sao Paulo's Stocks Exchange (Bovespa) in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Oct. 29, 2018.

President-elect Jair Bolsonaro has vowed a fundamental change in direction, including in business and trade, for the giant Latin American country of Brazil.

(MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2019, Brazil will pressure its trade bloc partners to make the most significant policy shift in the organization's recent history. President-elect Jair Bolsonaro takes office in Brasilia on Jan. 1, and the new administration will negotiate with the three other full members of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) to lift the restrictions that prevent member states from negotiating and signing bilateral free trade agreements. Brazil needs the unanimous consent of Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina for the change. Though they appear willing to vote for it, Argentina remains the wild card in negotiations, mainly because of its October 2019 presidential election. A close race for President Mauricio Macri could make him reluctant to lend Bolsonaro a hand in amending the policy....

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