Atlantic Council Launches Mercosur-Pacific Alliance Line of Work Following Latest Summit
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Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center will focus on benefits of convergence as newly elected presidents in Mexico and Colombia and contenders in Brazil debate trade agreements, commercial opening

WASHINGTON, DC – With Latin American leaders having recently wrapped up the 13th Presidential Summit of the Pacific Alliance in Mexico, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center today kicks off a new effort that will advance pathways for Mercosur-Pacific Alliance convergence and outline spillover effects as the region ushers in a new wave of Asia-Latin America trade and investment amid global commercial uncertainty.
The Center’s year-long effort—that will involve Mercosur and Pacific Alliance policymakers, private-sector representatives and the media—will examine the effects of convergence of policy instruments related to: trade in services; foreign investments; support for small and medium-sized enterprises; government procurement; diagonal cumulation of rules of origin; and harmonization of standards and regulations. The project is possible through the Atlantic Council membership of the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency.
“This is the moment for doubling down on regional convergence. In less than seven years, the Pacific Alliance, through its practical, issues-driven approach, has yielded impressive commercial and investment wins. Working in sync with Mercosur, a combined eight-country bloc would yield considerably more influence at this time of broader global economic realignment,” said Jason Marczak, director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.
Talk of convergence has gained new momentum as trade uncertainty has shaken up the western hemisphere. With Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance encompassing more than 80 percent of the region’s GDP, territory, and population, new convergence strategies will be imperative for the next phase of economic growth.
Through a series of roundtables, publications, and larger public events, the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center’s new Pacific Alliance-Mercosur effort will capitalize on recent momentum to raise awareness and generate new buy-in around efforts to better integrate Mercosur and Pacific Alliance. The effort will promote positive debate around the opportunities that come with convergence, especially in countries like Brazil, as the region ramps up engagement with Asia.
“Reinforcing regional integration in Latin America will be of singular importance to the region – as the world deals with the ups and downs of trade negotiations, this new Atlantic Council effort will highlight the importance of an open, transparent, inclusive and international rules-based multilateral trading system,” said Roberta Braga, Associate Director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

This project will involve a number of additional intellectual partners, among them the Embassy of Brazil in Washington, DC and the Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI).

Resource Guide:
July 24, 2018 — Op-Ed: Latin America’s Future Begins with the Pacific Alliance by Jason Marczak, Director, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, Atlantic Council

July 24, 2018 — Op-Ed (Spanish): El futuro de Latinoamérica empieza con la Alianza del Pacífico by Jason Marczak, Director, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, Atlantic Council

July 21, 2018 — Op-Ed: A Strategic Opportunity by Amb. Sergio Amaral, Ambassador of Brazil to the United States

July 21, 2018 — Op-Ed (Portuguese): Uma oportunidade estratégica (O Estado de S. Paulo) by Amb. Sergio Amaral, Ambassador of Brazil to the United States

Report: Pacific Alliance 2.0: Next Steps in Integration by Jason Marczak, with Maria Fernanda Perez Arguello

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About the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center
The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center broadens understanding of regional transformations through high-impact work that shapes the conversation among policymakers, the business community, and civil society. Now celebrating its five-year anniversary, the Center focuses on Latin America’s strategic role in a global context with a priority on pressing political, economic, and social issues that will define the trajectory of the region now and in the years ahead. Select lines of programming include: Venezuela’s crisis; US-Mexico relationship and NAFTA modernization; China-Latin America ties; Colombia’s peace building; the new Brazil; Central America’s future; shifting trade patterns; and energy’s next frontiers. Jason Marczak serves as Center Director.

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