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March 16, 2018
Canada-Mercosur free trade negotiations begin on March 20
Canada's Minister of International Trade, François-Philippe Champagne, welcomed the agreement to launch negotiations toward a comprehensive Canada-Mercosur free trade agreement (FTA).
At a meeting in Asunción, Paraguay, Minister Champagne, along with Mercosur trade bloc ministers, agreed to launch formal negotiations, building on the announcement of exploratory talks in February 2018. The objective of a new FTA is to increase economic opportunities for the benefit of all member countries.
In 2017, Canada and Mercosur exchanged $8.9 billion in trade. With a combined population of 260 million and a GDP of over $3 trillion, Mercosur is the world's fourth-largest trading bloc.
The South American trade bloc of Mercosur is a customs union established in 1991 by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The first round of FTA negotiations will take place in Ottawa from March 20 to 23, 2018.
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