BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina, fresh from striking a free-trade deal with the European Union, is now discussing another possible deal with the United States, President Mauricio Macri said on Thursday.
The center-right president, speaking at an industry event, said that Argentina and Latin American neighbor Brazil were talking about the free-trade deal with the United States, confirming earlier comments made by Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie.
“The chancellor has said that we are also talking with Brazil about free trade deals with the United States and China,” Macri said at the event, where he also underlined progress on trade deals with Canada, South Korea and Europe.
Faurie had told local newspaper La Nacion in an interview on Wednesday that there was the possibility of a free trade pact with the United States. Neither Faurie nor Macri gave details about the talks.
Marcos Peña, Argentina’s chief of staff, told reporters on Thursday that a free trade deal with the United States was “more a long-term project” rather than anything imminent.
Argentina and Brazil as part of the South American Mercosur trade bloc struck a historic trade deal with the European Union last week after around two decades of negotiations.
Macri, who is under fire over economic turbulence at home and a biting recession, has long pushed his credentials as trying to open Argentina’s economy and forge trade links with global partners. He is running for re-election in October.
“The demand for our products is going to multiply, and we have to prepare ourselves to produce more,” Macri said.
Reporting by Adam Jourdan and Eliana Raszewski; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Chizu Nomiyama