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The EU has concluded a trade agreement with the four founding members of Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) as part of a bi-regional Association Agreement.

Current trade relations between the EU and Mercosur are based on an inter-regional Framework Cooperation Agreement which entered into force from 1999.

The EU and individual Mercosur countries also have bilateral framework cooperation agreements, which also deal with trade-related matters.

The EU-Mercosur negotiations for a Trade Agreement

The EU-Mercosur negotiations started in 2000 and over the years experienced different phases.

In May 2016, the EU and Mercosur relaunched the negotiation process, exchanged new market access offers and intensified the pace of negotiations by holding negotiation rounds and meetings at regular intervals.

On 28 June 2019 the European Union and Mercosur reached a political agreement for an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive trade agreement covering issues such as:

  • tariffs
  • rules of origin
  • technical barriers to trade
  • sanitary and phytosanitary measures
  • services
  • government procurement
  • intellectual property
  • sustainable development
  • small- and medium-sized enterprises

More information on the EU-Mercosur trade deal

Trade picture

Note: the figures below represent EU’s trade with the four Mercosur countries

  • The EU is Mercosur's number one trade and investment partner
  • The EU is Mercosur's second biggest trade in goods partner after China, accounting for 17.1% of the bloc's total trade in 2019. Mercosur is the N.11 trade in goods partner for the EU.
  • In 2019 the EU's exports to the four Mercosur countries totalled €41 billion while Mercosur's exports to the EU were €35.9 billion.
  • Mercosur's biggest exports to the EU in 2019 were agricultural products, such as foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco (21.2%), vegetable products including soya and coffee (17.4%) and meats and other animal products (6.5%).
  • The EU's exports to Mercosur include machinery (28.6%), transport equipment (12.7% of total exports), chemicals and pharmaceutical products (24.2%).
  • The EU exported €21 billion of services to Mercosur while Mercosur exported € 10 billion of services to the EU in 2018.
  • The EU is the biggest foreign investor in the region, with an accumulated stock of investment that has gone up from €130 billion in 2000 to €365 billion in 2017.
  • Mercosur is a major investor in the EU, with stocks of €52 billion in 2017.

EU-Mercosur: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2018-2020, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2018 40.7 42.9 2.2
2019 38.2 42.0 3.8
2020 33.9 36.2 2.3

Unless otherwise mentioned “EU” concerns for all indicated years the current European Union of 27 Member States.

Date of retrieval: 12/04/2021

More statistics on Mercosur

EU and Mercosur

Mercosur was established in 1991 and encompasses Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay.  Venezuela, which officially joined in July 2012, was suspended from membership in 2017.

In December 2012, the Protocol of Accession of Bolivia to Mercosur was signed. This protocol is pending ratification by the parliaments of Mercosur countries.

The EU has bilateral Partnership and Cooperation agreements with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Mercosur countries no longer benefit from the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) scheme due to their classification as high middle-income countries.

Trading with Mercosur