MERCOSUR weakened: Uruguay begins FTA negotiations with China; China invites Argentina to join BRICS

While Buenos Aires cautioned that an agreement between Montevideo and Beijing would in practice spell the end of the bloc, it announced that it has decided to move forward in negotiations with China to join the BRICS.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - On Tuesday evening, September 7, Uruguay's president Luis Lacalle Pou announced in a press conference that Montevideo had received "a formal letter from the Chinese government agreeing to move forward with an FTA."

He also announced that "feasibility studies will begin shortly" to proceed towards signing the agreement within a period of no less than a year.

On Wednesday, upon leaving the economic cabinet meeting, Argentina's Minister of Productive Development Matías Kulfas told journalists at the Casa Rosada that the negotiation is perceived as an institutional rupture.

"Uruguay is sovereign, and it can . . .

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