What Happened: South Korea and the South America's Common Market of the South (Mercosur) trade bloc signed an agreement to begin formal trade negotiations in the second half of 2018, Yonhap reported May 25.
Why It Matters: Mercusor is expediting free trade agreement talks ahead of Brazil's October general elections. Brazil is the only country to oppose a trade agreement with South Korea over fears of Seoul's automotive imports.
Background: A 30 percent reduction in trade within Mercosur over the past four years has provided the bloc with a powerful incentive to open its markets and engage in major trade negotiations with other countries and economic blocs.
- Mercosur Makes Moves to Go Global (September 27, 2017)
- Latin America's Two Trade Blocs Get a Little Closer (November 14, 2017)
- Mercosur Looks Beyond Itself (July 21, 2017)