Thursday, July 15, 2004
As Brazil and Argentina fight over electrodomestic import taxes, the major alliance in Latin America is strained. Wouldn't it be good for the two governments to play by the same rules by which they have managed to make both the US and the EU abide? Why is Argentina straining relations by demanding that Brazilian electrodomestics have a high imports tax when entering Brazil?Article here:

THE AMERICAS: Brazil president urged to act on Argentine quotas
By Raymond Colitt in Sao Paulo
Financial Times; Jul 15, 2004

"Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, president of Brazil, came under increasing domestic pressure yesterday to take a tough stance against trade restrictions that Argentina adopted last week on selected Brazilian products.

Buenos Aires imposed a temporary 21 per cent tariff on television sets and an import licence for white goods, although it postponed their implementation pending bilateral negotiations.

Brazilian industry and labour leaders harshly criticised their southern neighbours this week, saying they were seeking unrealistic quotas on Brazilian imports.

São Paulo metal workers protested on Monday and demonstrated yesterday in front of the Argentine consulate, calling on Mr Lula da Silva to intervene.

The president, himself a former metalworker and union leader, is now caught between siding with Brazilian workers or giving in to Argentine demands as part of his aim to strengthen Mercosur, the South American trade block.

Mr Lula da Silva has been an adamant defender of regional integration and has been applauded by several neighbours for his consensus-building efforts."


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