Mercosur bloc presidents agree to raise tariffs

Hilary Burke, Luis Andres Henao – The New York Times/Reuters, 12/20/2011

Presidents of the Mercosur trade bloc on Tuesday agreed to individually raise tariffs on imports to shield their industries from a flood of cheaper imported goods stemming from the global economic crisis.

At a meeting in Uruguay’s capital, full members Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay said the plan to hike duties aims to protect industries from what Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called “an avalanche of predatory imports that jeopardize growth and employment.”

During Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s first official trip abroad since undergoing cancer surgery in June, Mercosur countries also pushed for Venezuela’s incorporation into the trade bloc.

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