Uruguay - Trade AgreementsUruguay - Trade Agreements
In addition to being a member of the WTO, Uruguay is also a member of ALADI and MERCOSUR.
ALADI is a Montevideo-headquartered trade association that includes ten South American countries plus Cuba, Mexico, and Panama. Uruguay holds numerous bilateral trade agreements of different scopes with ALADI partners. Under ALADI’s economic complementation agreements, Uruguay enjoys and grants special preferential access to trade with Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. ALADI’s general regional tariff preference mechanism (PAR, by its Spanish acronym) applies to goods traded between all member countries, and it results in a reduction in the percentage of applicable tariffs.
Uruguay is a founding member of MERCOSUR, the Southern Cone common market composed of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Venezuela (Venezuela was suspended from MERCOSUR in December 2016 for failure to incorporate membership requirements).
MERCOSUR entered into force in January 1991. Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru joined the pact as associate members. Montevideo is the headquarters of its Secretariat and its Parliament.
MERCOSUR—Andean Community of Nations (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Perú)
The agreement between these two organizations (Acuerdo de Complementación Económica No. 59) took effect in October 2004 and with the goal of liberalizing 80 percent of trade between the blocs.
In July 2004, Mexico was accepted by MERCOSUR as an “observer country” within the bloc, with a view to its future inclusion as associate member.
After more than 20 years of negotiations, MERCOSUR and the European Union concluded a comprehensive trade agreement on June 2019. It represents the largest trade agreement the European Union has ever concluded. Prior to entering into force, the agreement must be ratified by the European Parliament and the parliaments of individual MERCOSUR countries.
On 23 August 2019, member states of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and of MERCOSUR (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) concluded in substance the negotiations on a comprehensive free trade agreement. EFTA-MERCOSUR Agreement covers trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, government procurement, competition, trade and sustainable development, legal and horizontal issues including dispute settlement.
MERCOSUR–Southern African Customs Union
In December 2000, the countries of MERCOSUR (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) signed a framework agreement towards the creation of a free trade area between MERCOSUR and the Southern African Customs Union (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland). In 2016, a preferential trade agreement entered into force.
Free Trade Agreements
In 2004, Uruguay and Mexico deepened a 1999 agreement, which resulted in Uruguay’s first comprehensive trade agreement with a non-MERCOSUR country. In April 2019, Uruguay and Chile ratified a a free trade agreement that expanded on an existing agreement.
Uruguay has FTAs signed with some other countries such as Egypt (which entered into force in September 2017), Israel (which entered into force in December 2009) and Peru. Over the past decade, Uruguay has faced major problems in exporting to Argentina and has diversified its exports away from MERCOSUR. In addition to MERCOSUR, there are separate bilateral agreements
Uruguay Trade Development and Promotion Trade Agreements