Brazil wants to liberalize trade in vehicles and auto parts with Argentina and Mexico, Trade Minister Armando Monteiro told Reuters, in a major shift away from protectionism.

Monteiro, the former head of a trade group who will travel to Mexico and Argentina, has been under pressure from local auto producers who are struggling in Brazil's recession, according to the Reuters report.

The minister said the government's priority is to rework a bilateral auto deal with Argentina that expires in late June and advance talks to expand overall trade with Mexico. He added that the auto trade liberalization with Argentina could be gradual. Despite being major partners of the South American trading bloc Mercosur, the two countries have automobile trade quotas, according to the Reuters report.