South America trade bloc may slap high tariffs on Asia chemicals

21 December 2011 19:10  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--South American trade bloc Mercosur has approved measures that would allow it to impose tariffs of 35% on up to 100 items in a move seen as intended to protect the region from cheap Asian imports of chemicals, textiles and capital goods, according to a report published on Wednesday.

Mercosur members include South America's largest economies, Brazil and Argentina, as well as Paraguay and Uruguay.

Under the agreement, a Mercosur member can propose the 35% tariff for the whole trade bloc. If no other country objects, then the higher tariff will take effect.

If approved, the tariffs will last through December 2014, the agreement said. The 35% is the maximum allowed by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Although the agreement did not specify the items that could be covered, The Wall Street Journal reported that Mercosur would likely target chemicals, textiles and capital goods from Asia.

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Al Greenwood
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