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  • Latin American foreign ministers participate in a meeting at the Pacific Alliance Summit, in Lima, Peru, July 5, 2019.

    Latin American foreign ministers participate in a meeting at the Pacific Alliance Summit, in Lima, Peru, July 5, 2019. | Photo: EFE

Published 6 July 2019

Officials from Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru have entered talks regarding the regional effects of the U.S. trade war against China.

The Council of Ministers of the Pacific Alliance (PA) closed on Friday after two days of meetings in Lima, Peru, prior to the 14th Presidential Summit, which is expected to reaffirm its commitment to multilateral trade rules.

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Foreign Affairs, Trade and Finance Ministers from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru met, separately, with representatives of the states observers of the alliance, and signed declarations with Japan, the Eurasian Economic Commission and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The PA countries also expect to conclude negotiations, most probably at the end of this year, to add Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore into the bloc. The ministers are considering the intention of South Korea and Ecuador to be part of the group, too.

The Pacific Alliance was created in 2011 and is currently comprised of Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru, four countries which account for almost 50 percent of the regional trade and 38 percent of the Latin American Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The presidents of the PA countries are expected to make "a very powerful statement" to support multilateral trade rules and institutions, which are considered fundamental in a context where the United States is fostering protectionist trade measures and unilateral economic sanctions.

"I am surprised that Nestle and Coca-Cola managers are discussing education at the Pacific Alliance Summit. It would be better they explain what they do to alleviate health problems they cause." The meme reads, "Too many philosophers, psychologists and lawyers. Latin American business and political leaders discuss sustainable development and education at the Summit."

The Summit also addressed the prospects of the global economy and the U.S. President Donald Trump's trade war against  China, a geopolitically-driven action which unavoidably marks the agenda of the world's integration blocs.​​​​​​​

Given that commercial relations between the Asian power and the large Latin American economies have increased substantially during the last decade, businessmen took advantage of the Summit to express their concern about the trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

"The trade dispute between these two great powers has diminished prospects of global economic growth," Nestor Popolizio, the Peruvian Foreign Minister warned before saying that such commercial impasse is causing huge problems to Peru and Chile, which have China as the main business partner.

"The fight's biggest losers are us. We sell them both and both economies will grow less if they are isolated, we will get the bill," the Latin American businessmen told EFE.

At the 2019 PA Summit the Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) will not be present but will send in his place to Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard. The meeting, however, will be attended by Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno, who wants his country to join the bloc.

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