MENDOZA, Argentina, July 21 (Reuters) - The members of South America’s Mercosur trade bloc inked a trade deal with Colombia on Friday to allow limited quantities of tariff-free trade in products including automobiles, textiles and agrochemicals, Argentina’s and Colombia’s governments said.
The deal, reached during a summit in Mendoza, Argentina between Mercosur members Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, will allow a previously agreed deal between Argentina and Colombia waiving tariffs on car imports to enter into force, a spokesman for Argentina’s Production Ministry said.
Argentina will be able to ship some 12,500 vehicles to Colombia without tariffs in the first year. The quota will increase gradually to reach 42,000 in the fourth year, representing a $700 million market.
“We will no longer have to pay tariffs so our cars can enter the Colombian market. More industry and more jobs for Argentina,” Production Minister Francisco Cabrera said on Twitter on Friday.
On Friday, Colombia’s Trade, Industry and Tourism Ministry said in a statement that Colombia could export 42,000 vehicles tariff-free to Argentina and up to 50,000 to Brazil. It added that the deal will allow it to send 31,000 tonnes of tariff-free agrochemicals to Argentina, representing some $434 million.
Mercosur is also looking to ink a trade deal with the European Union and increase trade links with the Pacific Alliance, which includes Colombia as well as Chile, Mexico and Peru. (Reporting by Jorge Otaola and Eliana Raszewski; Additional reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb in Bogota; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by James Dalgleish)