The Brazilian President is http://www.washtimes.com/upi-breaking/20031016-045345-2484r.htm” title=”link to the Washington Times report”>reportedly pressing for deeper political integration in Latin America, including a regional parliament.
“The parliament, according to Lula, would represent the interests of nations in the Mercosur trading bloc, namely Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Lula has expressed interest in expanding Mercosur to encompass more South American countries and creating a continental parliament similar to that of the European Union.”
Of all the regional trade agreements, Mercosur has superficially one of the most credible claims to this sort of integration: it’s possibly more ethnically and culturally integrated than e.g. the European Community. Mercosur also rates high on WTO’s measure of ‘internal openness’ : the “marginal preference ratio” or the level of barriers left in the way of ‘free trade’ within the region.