In a recent press conference, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that Mexico will not be joining the planned common currency project, dubbed "sur," proposed by the governments of Brazil and Argentina.
The project aims to reduce the commercial power of the US dollar in the region and strengthen regional trade. "We intend to overcome the barriers to our exchanges, simplify and modernize the rules and encourage the use of local currencies," says the text published on the Argentine website Perfil.
"We also decided to advance discussions on a common South American currency that can be used for both financial and commercial flows, reducing costs operations and our external vulnerability," the article said.
"We wouldn't agree to that," said Lopez Obrador, while emphasizing the necessity for a US dollar-backed domestic currency.
"For many reasons, we have to continue to keep the dollar as a benchmark," he added. The idea for the "sur" currency was discussed during a recent visit of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to Argentina, ahead of the 7th Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Buenos Aires.
President Lula emphasized the goal of the currency as a means to enhance regional trade and decrease reliance on the US dollar, as many countries in the region struggle to obtain dollars, limiting trade opportunities. "If it depended on me, we would have external commerce always in the same currency of the other countries so we wouldn’t have to depend on the dollar," said Lula in a press conference in Buenos Aires.
Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez acknowledged the challenges of the project but emphasized its significance. "We know what happens to national economies having the need to function with foreign currencies, and we know how harmful that is," said Fernandez.
He also stated that the project aims to expand to other countries in the region, "If there is something we have in common with Lula, it is the need to integrate Latin America." Despite Mexico's refusal to join the project, the proposed "sur" currency remains a topic of discussion among Latin American leaders as they seek to strengthen regional trade and reduce dependence on the US dollar.
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