A deal agreed between EFTA and the South American Mercosur bloc, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, with a combined population of 260 million, is close to signing.
EFTA includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
Under the deal, 95% of Switzerland’s CHF 3.6 million annual exports to the bloc would be tariff free.
The deal is important because the EU recently agreed a similar Mercosur deal, so this deal will maintain Switzerland’s current competitive position with EU exporters to the region.
Not everyone is happy. Switzerland’s farmers fear South American meat imports will affect the prices they receive for theirs. Switzerland’s 155,000 farmer produce around CHF 10 billion a year, around 1% of Switzerland’s GDP.