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The REAL reason Bush is in Latin America... [View All]

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-10-07 10:35 AM
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The REAL reason Bush is in Latin America...
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Edited on Sat Mar-10-07 10:37 AM by Joanne98
He's trying to undermine Mercosur and the Bank of the South Project..

From the CFR's website... /

What is the attitude of the United States toward Mercosur?
Mercosur's blockage of the FTAA and its general disinterest in trade with the United States has discouraged warm relations between the two. While the United States has not overtly criticized Mercosur, Washington views the bloc as being an obstacle to the expansion of their trade in Latin America. They find it an annoyance, according to Wheeler. Roett agrees. It's viewed here in Washington as an anti-American entity, he says, Clearly if you talk to people within the administration, they're not happy.

This may change, however, during Washington's so-called year of engagement (LAT) with Latin America, which kicked off in early February. The United States, Lapper says, is trying to set up good relationship with Brazil. They recognize that Brazil is a stabilizing force in the region. The Bush administration's diplomatic campaign in Latin America includes Bush's tour of the region in March 2007 that will begin in Brazil, the current home of Mercosur's presidency, and will continue on through Uruguay, among other countries. It's difficult for the United States to deal with Chvez, says Lapper. In that context, having good relations with other countries, especially the big and important ones, is really valuable. /

And then there's this...

Uruguay threatens to downgrade Mercosur role
By Benedict Mander in Montevideo

Published: March 8 2007 23:02 | Last updated: March 8 2007 23:02

Uruguay has warned that it will consider downgrading its status in Mercosur if the regional trade bloc prevents it from making a bilateral trade deal with the US.

Danilo Astori, finance minister, said: Uruguay must find a way of making a bilateral trade deal with the US. Our small country is trapped, a prisoner of the collective wishes of the group, and this is causing us serious harm.

As part of a tour of Latin America, President George W. Bush arrives on Friday in Uruguay. Montevideo will push for a deepening of trade ties after signing a trade and investment framework agreement with the US last month.

But a full trade deal agreement is opposed by Mercosur, which requires members to negotiate such deals collectively.

Mr Bushs visit to Uruguay follows that of Brazils president, Luiz Incio Lula da Silva, last week, in which he showed a willingness to help improve Uruguays trade terms in Mercosur and allow greater flexibility for it to make bilateral trade deals outside the bloc.

Although Mr Astori would be willing to negotiate bilateral deals together with the rest of Mercosur, we see no willingness in the other members to do so. After 12 years of trying, no agreement had been reached between Mercosur and the European Union, he said.

Mr Astori said there was much at stake. It is a matter of life or death for entire sectors of our economy.

Uruguay, with Paraguay, complains that Brazil and Argentina, the largest members, have prevented access to their markets, deepening its trade deficit.

For now, Uruguay wants a waiver to make bilateral deals outside the bloc while remaining a full member.

This explains a lot. Yesterday Bush in Uruguay and Chavez in Argentina. It looks like Bush's real reason for the trip.

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