Mercosur and the European Union begin a fresh round of trade talks this week with renewed optimism that negotiators may be nearing an accord after almost 20 years of talks. Since trade negotiations with the United States were frozen after Donald Trump's 2016 presidential election victory, the European Union has turned its focus to other large economies and has already struck agreements with Japan and Mexico.
European officials said this week that significant obstacles remain to a long-delayed trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur, even as South American officials expressed optimism a deal would be finalized soon.
Irish Farmers National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods has said the break in Mercosur talks until Friday is an opportunity for Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan to face down the Trade Commissioner and force a rethink on the sell-out of beef farmers.
A long-awaited major trade deal between the EU and Mercosur may this week take a key step towards realization with ministerial teams from both sides meeting in Brussels on Monday. They are expected to give negotiators a new, decisive political impulse to reach agreement in a matter of weeks, according to Irish sources.
Argentine president Mauricio Macri ended on Friday his European tour in Paris, where he addressed the business community and potential investors, and later held a private meeting with president Emmanuel Macron. According to Argentine sources there is strong French investors' interest, but apparently Macron held his ground when regarding the EU/Mercosur overall trade agreement.
Argentina has left behind its populist experiment, and there is no other country with greater potential, Argentine president Mauricio Macri told the World Economic Forum in Davos during a speech to the forum of world political and business leaders.
Negotiations for a trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur will extend into next year, officials from both sides said on Wednesday, after the Europeans asked for more time to analyze proposed changes.
The talks between the European Union and Mercosur will likely extend into next year after European negotiators said they needed more time to respond to improved offers, a source from Mercosur negotiators said on Tuesday.
Free-trade talks between the European Union and Mercosur still face hurdles over beef and ethanol, and an expected deal announcement this week might not happen, officials involved in negotiations admitted on Monday. Mercosur diplomats on the sidelines of the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires said EU officials had not presented improved offers on EU tariff-free imports for beef and ethanol as promised.
Irish MEP and vice-president of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness is representing the European Parliament at the ministerial assembly on the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Argentina, which began on Sunday, and has warned that rushing towards a Mercosur/European Union deal would jeopardize the EU beef industry.