BRUSSELS – Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Monday met with European Commission representatives and discussed the importance of getting a definite offer for market access as soon as possible within the framework of an association agreement between the EU and Mercosur, and the group also discussed the biodiesel dispute.
“We discussed how to move forward toward an accord between the European Union and Mercosur. That requires more work. We exchanged initial offers and both parties know that they are only that, initial offers,” Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra said after the EC meeting.
She added that “now we have to push this forward to agree on a final offer and we have to do so as soon as possible.”
Last May, the EU and the four Mercosur nations – Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay – overcame the hurdle of once again exchanging market access offers in the negotiations for an association agreement, something that had not occurred since 2004 and which both parties have pursued since deciding to resume discussions in 2010.
Macri also discussed the lawsuit filed by Argentina against the EU before the World Trade Organization over “anti-dumping” rights for Argentine and Indonesian biodiesel imposed in 2013 which, in practice, close the European market to that fuel produced in Argentina.
Last March, the WTO partially ruled in Argentina’s favor, but the EU has appealed the decision.
“The president made clear that there are certain very important examples for us and biodiesel is one of those,” said Malcorra in remarks to reporters accompanied by the EU’s high representative for foreign policy, Federica Mogherini.
She said that Argentina and Macri have demonstrated “great leadership” in advancing relations between the EU and Mercosur and that after exchanging initial market access offers “we have to work hard” to move forward.
The first round of talks will take place in October, the European diplomatic chief said.
The two parties on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding on international cooperation in third countries, a letter of intent regarding dialogue on regional and urban policy and an administrative agreement on a diplomatic exchange program.