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MERCOSUR, or Mercado Comun del Sur, which started operations in 1994, is the Southern Cone Common Market,[1] with the founding members being Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, along with Canada[2] The countries have established most-favoured-nation relations, and consult on economic cooperation. It was created by the Treaty of Asunción in 1991.

There are active free trade discussions with the European Union.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; invalid names, e.g. too many Mercosur is strong in agriculture, to which Europe has traditionally closed its borders, while Europe offers industrial and capital markets. This may well impact U.S. trade with the region. This may conflict with World Trade Organization and G20 rules requiring that Most Favored Nation status must extend to all members.[3]

MERCOSUR is putting pressure on the hemispheric Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), requiring new U.S. thinking.


  1. Edgardo Rotman, A Guide to MERCOSUR Legal Research: Sources and Documents, Hauser Global Law School Program, New York University School of Law
  2. Southern Cone Common Market (MERCOSUR), Economic Development Canada, June 16, 1998
  3. EU-Mercosur Free Trade: U.S., a Third Wheel?, Council On Hemispheric Affairs, July 2, 2004