U.S. Commerce Secretary cautions Brazil on Mercosur-EU trade deal


U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross addressed business leaders in Sao Paulo on Tuesday (July 30), warning that the EU-Mercosur deal could put at risk a possible free trade agreement between Brazil and the United States.

Ross was in Brazil the same day that U.S. President Donald Trump said he will pursue a U.S. trade agreement with Brazil, suggesting a friendly relationship with Bolsonaro could help lower trade barriers between the two biggest economies in the Americas.

Ross said a trade deal between Mercosur and the European Union, reached in principle last month, should avoid “obstacles” and “roadblocks” that would obstruct a possible U.S. accord.

The United States and Brazil, which exchanged more than $100 billion in goods and services last year, have drawn closer since Bolsonaro took office in January after the far-right former army captain’s insurgent election campaign modelled after Trump’s.