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.5 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.
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.
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.
Venezuela's recently ousted chief prosecutor accused President Nicolas Maduro and several allies on Wednesday of participating in acts of corruption, saying she would turn over proof that would help other countries prosecute. Venezuela's government quickly fired back, accusing Luisa Ortega Diaz of grave moral and ethical infractions.
On Tuesday, August 8, thirteen foreign ministers from the Americas met in Lima, Peru, in order to discuss Venezuela’s social and political crisis. The result was a signed declaration in which the representatives declare that Nicolás Maduro’s constituent assembly is illegal and illegitimate, as are all decisions that result from it.
Beef will be back on the menu this October as the European Union seeks to finalise a trade deal with Mercosur. The European Commission will offer Mercosur new beef import quotas at reduced tariff rates during a formal round of trade talks in the first week of October in Brussels, EU sources confirmed.
Mercosur foreign ministers meeting on Saturday in Brazil suspended Venezuela indefinitely for failing to uphold democratic norms amid an intensifying crackdown on dissent in the country. The bloc previously suspended Venezuela in December for failing to uphold commitments it made when it joined the group in 2012.