Politics

Uruguay’s President admits FTA with Turkey under consideration — MercoPress


Uruguay’s President admits FTA with Turkey under consideration

Thursday, December 23rd 2021 – 09:48 UTC


“It's not only China,” Lacalle admitted
“It’s not only China,” Lacalle admitted

Uruguay’s President Luis Lacalle Pou Wednesday admitted his country was after one-on-one trade deals with countries other than China and singled out Turkey was a target. Regarding a possible agreement with the United States, Lacalle said it would be a childhood dream come true.

If a deal is finally reached, Turkey’s presence in the region will have found yet another partner. Uruguay and Turkey have strengthened diplomatic ties this year.

The Uruguayan head of state, whose approval ratings stand at 50%, and whose stance within Mercosur that unilateral negotiation were needed with other nations or blocs, was very clear: “It is not only China,” he said. Indeed, China is not the only country expanding throughout South America.

Lacalle said in an interview that his government had a reply from Turkey for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and that an exploratory path had begun and negotiations will start in March. Regarding an FTA with China, Lacalle admitted he had expected the current studies under way to have been finished by December, but it will take “a little longer.”

Asked about the referendum against 135 articles of the Law of Urgent Consideration (LUC), the president said that “you have to be a good loser, but it is more important to be a good winner” and recognized a negative result in the popular consultation would affect the government, but he still defended the norm. ”As what happened today with the picket (in the Port of Montevideo), it was solved as we thought it appropriate to solve because the LUC exists,“ said Lacalle Pou and assured that this rule has been valid for a year or so and ”has not generated any damage.” The president explained the conflict was a “confrontation of workers against workers” and that he had to defend both. “That’s why it’s difficult to rule” a country, he said. While some workers may want to protest with their banners, others may want to make a living and cutting off their pays was not the way to go about things, he explained. The conflict was “solved” through police intervention that left nobody harmed. “There are strikes and claims that may be legitimate. There are measures that are too extreme and that harm an entire society,“ he added.

Asked about the opinion of former GACH coordinator Rafael Radi regarding the removal of the second PCR requirement from those enter the country, Lacalle said he agreed with Radi’s view. “The government sometimes takes bold measures, which is not crazy. Not having decreed a mandatory quarantine, at the time, was a bold measure,” he said. He added that a government should not demand what it is not going to comply with, and that since thousands of tourists will arrive in Uruguay, it will be impossible to “walk behind them” to control them.

The Equipo Consultores polling firm Wednesday published on its website Lacalle Pou’s ratings of approval by mid December 2021: 50%, with a 28% disapproval. The remaining 22% either had mixed feelings or no position at all. At the time he was elected President, Lacalle’s approval was of 48.8%.

The data was collected between December 14 and 19 through cell phone calls to 487 respondents nationwide, aged 18 and over from both urban and rural settings.




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