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Mercosur or Mercosul, officially the Common Market of the South, Latin American trade organization established in 1991 to increase economic cooperation among the countries of E South America. It is commonly known as Mercosur or Mercosul from the Spanish and Portuguese names, respectively, for the organization. Full members now are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela; Bolivia is in the process of becoming a full member. Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Suriname are associate members. The headquarters are in Montevideo, Uruguay. Mercosur is gradually eliminating tariffs between member states and at the same time aiming for a low common external duty; trade among its members has greatly expanded since 1991. A Mercosur parliament was established in 2007.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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