Brazil’s Tariffs Complicate Trade Deal, Mexico Minister Says.

Brazil’s existing tariff barriers complicate promised negotiations on a free-trade agreement with Mexico and there is no date to start formal talks, Mexico’s undersecretary of industry and commerce said.

“What is the most difficult part is to solve the known tariff barriers that Brazil has,” Lorenza Martinez said in an interview at the Mexican embassy yesterday in Tokyo. “It is more difficult to do business in Brazil than in Mexico. It has a more complicated system to operate. That’s the part that makes this agreement a little bit more difficult than others.”

Mexican President Felipe Calderon and former Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva vowed last year to start talks on a potential free trade agreement. Brazil is Latin America’s largest economy and Mexico, the second biggest, relies on the U.S. to buy about 80 percent of its exports.

“There is an interest in both countries, but we don’t have a date to start the negotiations yet,” Martinez said. “It might be defined in the next month.”

In general, Brazil is more interested in pursuing the trade deal to benefit its agricultural sector while Mexico hopes to aid manufacturers, she said.

Separately, Mexico hasn’t changed a forecast for the country to create 557,000 new private sector jobs this year as it recovers from the global downturn in 2009, she said.

“The recovery has been faster than in previous cycles,” she said, adding that manufacturing firms have led the rebound.


Source: Bloomberg.  Jul 27, 2011