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Bilateral relations between the EU and Argentina are governed by the Framework Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement, which entered into force in 1990.
As a member of Mercosur, Argentina is also party to the EU-Mercosur Framework Co-operation Agreement signed in 1995, which includes provisions on trade cooperation. Argentina has been involved in the negotiation of the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement.
Argentina is an upper middle-income country and is the third largest economy of Latin America and a G-20 member.
Argentina is a major producer of agricultural commodities and is among the top world exporters of soy and sunflower products, pears, and lemons. Wine and beef are also well-known products, mostly consumed domestically. Argentina also has important mineral resources such as gold, copper and lithium and respectively the 2nd and the 4th largest shale gas and shale oil reserves in the world. Additionally, it has industrial production in sectors such as cars, nuclear industry, and an emerging digital service sector.
- The EU is Argentina's third trading partner (after Brazil and China), accounting for 14.1% of total Argentinean trade in 2019. In 2019, EU-Argentina bilateral trade in goods totalled € 14.3 billion.
- Argentina’s main exports to the EU are agricultural products (58%), [petroleum-derived] chemicals (15%) and non-fuel raw materials (12%) (2019 data).
- The EU exports to Argentina mainly manufactured goods, such as machinery and transport equipment (44%) and chemical products, including pharmaceuticals, (24%) (2019 data).
- In 2019, the value of EU exports of goods to Argentina was practically the same as that of EU imports from Argentina.
Trade in services was rather stable between 2016 and 2018. In 2018, the EU imported services from Argentina of a value of €2.2 billion, while it exported services worth €5.3 billion.
The EU and Argentina
The EU’s historically strong relationship with Argentina is reflected in the level of Foreign Direct Investment by EU companies, which held stocks worth €43 billion in Argentina in 2018.
The EU holds bilateral dialogues with Argentina on economic and trade matters through the EU-Argentina Joint Committee, established under the EU-Argentina Framework Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The last such meeting was held in 2017.
Over several decades, Argentina has imposed significant barriers on imports, exports and capital flows. As a result, international trade and investment climate suffered significantly. Although EU companies and investors reported some improvements in administrative procedures during recent years, a number of significant problems remain, which the EU continues to monitor and take up in bilateral contacts with Argentina. Those problems include in particular:
- Export duties for many products and services ; the tax rate ranges from 5% (including services) to 33% (soy exports),
- Non-automatic import licences applied to around 1500 tariff lines, affecting almost 26% of EU exports to Argentina,
- Mandatory preferences for local companies in public procurement
- local content requirements in the car and car-part sector to obtain tax advantages,
- Problems in the protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property rights, including delays in patent proceedings and inadequate protection of geographical indications.
For more details, see MADB fiche on Trade Barriers
Argentina in Mercosur
Mercosur is an economic and political agreement between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. In the area of trade, Mercosur's purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency between its members.
Committees and Dialogues
The EU and Argentina meet regularly to discuss issues and best practices and oversee the proper functioning of the Agreement.
Trading with Argentina
- Importing into the EU from Argentina
- EU trade defence measures on imports from Argentina
- Exporting from the EU to Argentina
- Trade relations are part of the EU's overall political and economic relations with Argentina
- Argentina is a member of the World Trade Organization
The Commission published today the final version of the SIA on the potential impact of the EU-Mercosur agreement.
On the occasion of the EU27-LAC Informal Ministerial Meeting in Berlin on 14 December, the ratification and entry into force of the EU-Mercosur Agreement were discussed.
European Commission publishes draft Sustainability Impact Assessment for the Trade part of the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement
The Commission today published the draft version of the final assessment of the potential economic, social, environmental and human rights impact of the trade part of the association agreement between the European Union and Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay).