A new free trade agreement linking some Latin American nations with the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) and Syria, among other nations, is particularly worrisome.In addition to the P.A. and Syria, the Southern Common Market, known as Mercosur—a nearly 20-year-old union between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay—will also begin negotiations for free trade agreements with Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
These agreements will “open, promote, and expand markets,” according to a statement by the foreign offices of the two largest countries of Mercosur, Argentina and Brazil.
These deals come soon after Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay announced they will recognize a Palestinian state.
“The agreement with the Palestinian Authority and Syria flies in the face of Mercosur’s stated commitment to democracy,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said.
B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin added: “These new trade lines could be viewed as importing the Middle East conflict directly to Latin America.”
Mercosur signed a free trade agreement with Israel, but it has not yet been implemented because all agreements must be ratified by the four congresses of Mercosur founding members.
B’nai B’rith has a strong and long presence in Latin America and closely monitors activities throughout the region.