The European Union and Mercosur are close to concluding a free trade accord after decades of fitful talks, an EU official said. “We’re that close to having a new association and trade agreement between EU and Mercosur,” European Commissioner for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen said, holding his index finger and thumb just slightly apart.4 comments
Ireland's Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has expressed “grave concerns” about the offer of a beef tariff rate quota in last month’s round of European Union/Mercosur discussions, which he said gives rise to potentially very serious consequences for the Irish and EU beef sector in particular.
Argentine president Mauricio Macri who has made signing trade deals a priority, said he was optimistic that Mercosur, the trade bloc formed by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, would be able to conclude a free trade deal with the European Union by year-end despite differences over beef, ethanol and other agribusiness matters.
Argentina will replace Agriculture Minister Ricardo Buryaile with Luis Miguel Etchevehere, currently the president of the Argentine Rural Society, the powerful agriculture and livestock industry group, Cabinet Chief Marcos Pena said on Tuesday. Buryaile will next serve as Argentina's ambassador to the European Union.
European Union leaders have agreed to press ahead with Mercosur talks and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker confirmed the bloc will “continue to do everything” to conclude a deal before the end of the year. “It's important,” Mr Juncker said. “We underestimate the importance of Mercosur for the European Union.”
France will propose changing the European Commission’s mandate to negotiate a trade deal with Mercosur bloc to include food safety provisions, its envoy to Brazil said on this week.
Uruguay's foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa announced he will be meeting foreign secretary Boris Johnson next Monday, in London to address Brexit consequences and Uruguay's interest is reaching a trade agreement with the UK. Although both sides are interested in such an understanding, this will be an initial contact, the strong intention which will have to be followed up by detailed negotiations, points out the Uruguayan government ministry.
News of a potential offer of a tariff rate quota for 85,000 tons of beef in the Mercosur/European Union negotiations has triggered a dismayed reaction from the ICSA’s (Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association’s) Beef Chairman Edmond Phelan.
The High Representative and Vice President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini who visited Argentina on Monday praised the rapid progress made in negotiations on a renewed EU/Mercosur trade agreement and was confident remaining obstacles could be overcomes and a deal can be reached by the end of the year.
President Mauricio Macri met on Monday midday with his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella, who is in Buenos Aires on the first official visit by an Italian president to Argentina in 16 years. The two leaders underlined the unique links between Italy and Argentina and announced the re-launching of diplomatic and trade relations.