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WTO members consider MERCOSUR-Israel trade agreement

Today, WTO members considered the regional trade agreements (RTAs) at the meeting of the Committee on RTAs. Members reviewed the Free Trade Agreement between the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) and Israel.

Under the agreement, which was fully implemented by 1 January 2020, Israel liberalized more than 90% of its tariff lines for imports from MERCOSUR states (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) while MERCOSUR liberalized more than 95% of their tariff lines for imports from Israel.

Israel — who spoke also on behalf of MERCOSUR — said the agreement aims to eliminate barriers to trade, facilitate the movement of goods, promote conditions of fair competition in the free trade area, increase investment opportunities and increase cooperation in areas of mutual interest. Israel said there was room to improve trade volumes, noting that as of 2017, the four MERCOSUR states were Israel’s eight largest destination for exports and the 18th largest source of imports. Conversely, Israel was MERCOSUR’s 40th largest destination for exports and 28th largest source of imports. Effective implementation of the agreement, Israel said, would boost the economies of all parties and improve the business environment.