It would be ‘hasty’ to consider that Argentina is ready to sign a trade agreement with the United States, but in any case the issue must be addressed by Mercosur, and it’s the whole group that should advance in that direction, said Argentina’s foreign minister Susana Malcorra.
“We are working to open all possible channels for Argentina to access the world, but an agreement takes time and a long preparation period. It’s definitively too hasty” said Malcorra when asked if Argentina had plans to sign a trade deal with the US, taking advantage of the coming visit of President Obama and the fact that Argentina has a more open foreign policy.
Furthermore, “any of these decisions must reach a consensus inside Mercosur, as we are doing now with the European Union”, and to think that Argentina “can address this kind of trade deals on its own would be to deny the existence of Mercosur”.
“Mercosur as such could advance on this kind of trade deal, and we’re talking about it but the reading of the talks is so say the least, hasty”, said the Argentine minister.
As to the coming visit of Obama to Argentina (23/24 March), Malcorra considered that “this means there is a priority look on” Argentina and opens “an opportunity to address joint tasks in areas such as fighting drugs traffic and a multilateral agenda and of world affairs”, as well in the fields of education, science and technology.
Malcorra added that there is a strong possibility of implementing “exchange of students since Argentina, at university level, is quite below the rest of countries” as well as implementing a program to train educators in the United States.
The minister also confirmed that Argentina president Mauricio Macri would request president Obama to declassify all documents and messages referred to Argentina’s military dictatorship (1976/1983) which should help reveal many of the abuses and human rights violations committed during those years.