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In 1991 Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay signed the Treaty of Asuncion to create a customs union with a common external tariff by December of 1994 that will eventually evolve into a common market. This agreement, Mercado Comun del Sur, or MERCOSUR was derived from integration efforts of the 1960’s. It became more intense when Brazil and Argentina created the bilateral Programa de Integracion y Cooperacion Argentino-Brasileno known as PICAB in 1985 which set a timetable for a bilateral common market. Presidents Carlos Menem of Argentina and Fernando Collor de Melo of Brazil took the initiative to speed up the process by lowering bilateral tariffs and beginning negotiations with Paraguay and Uruguay. MERCOSUR was strategically oriented to develop the economies of its constituents making them more internationally competitive so that they will not have to rely on the closed market arena. MERCOSUR was viewed as a remarkable development. It brought nations with a long standing rivalries together. The MERCOSUR constituents compose nearly half of the wealth created in all of Latin America as well as 40 percent of the population. These four nations also posses one third of all trade in Latin America. Although MERCOSUR is an economic trade initiative it was also designed with clear political goals. MERCOSUR is committed to the consolidation of democracy and the maintenance of peace throughout the southern cone. Also MERCOSUR took strides to reach agreements between Brazil and Argentina in the nuclear field. Currently there has been a move to expand MERCOSUR with Chile and also to integrate with NAFTA, North American Free Trade Agreement creating a Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA), which would dispell both NAFTA and MERCOSUR.