4 European countries agree on trade deal with Mercosur

BERLIN — Switzerland says the European Free Trade Association, a group of four countries outside the European Union, has largely concluded a free-trade agreement with the Mercosur bloc including Brazil.The Swiss economy ministry said Saturday that the agreement “in substance” was reached in Buenos Aires Friday and ultimately will see some 95% of Swiss exports to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay free from tariffs. It said it also would prevent EFTA — whose other members are Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway — being put at a disadvantage to the EU, which has reached its own trade deal with Mercosur.The Swiss statement didn’t mention the Amazon rainforest fires but did say the accord includes “provisions on climate protection and the sustainable use of forest resources.” Its signing is expected by early 2020.The Associated Press

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