On the fringes of the World Economic Forum in Davos and the World Economic Forum on Latin America in São Paolo, the European Union and Mercosur continued discussions in an attempt to reach a free trade agreement that has been on the table now for almost 20 years. The United States, meanwhile, has shown a preference for bilateral agreements (starting with the meeting between the US president, Donald Trump, and the British prime minister, Theresa May) and has also imposed new tariffs on steel and aluminium. In the middle, a major rhetorical clash is underway between developing countries and industrialised ones. The former are calling for greater market access, while the latter insist on compliance with international trade regulations.

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