Glossary: Common Market of the South (Mercado Comum do Sul--Mercosul)

An organization established on March 26, 1991, when the Treaty of Asuncin was signed by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay for the purpose of promoting regional economic cooperation. Chile was conspicuously absent because of its insistence that the other four countries first had to lower their tariffs to the Chilean level before Chile could join. Mercosul became operational on January 1, 1995. Chile became an associate member that month and agreed to join as a full member on June 25, 1996. Bolivia was admitted into Mercosul in March 1997. Mercosul is more commonly known by its Spanish acronym, Mercosur (Common Market of the South--Mercado Comn del Sur).

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