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.
Ms McGuinness expressed the belief that Argentina was pushing for progress on Mercosur negotiations and would like to announce that a deal has been made when the ministerial council concludes on Wednesday night. But she pointed out, rushing towards a deal for the sake of a deadline is not appropriate.
Currently, the EU has offered the trading bloc up to 70,000 tons of beef access to Europe, an offer which has been widely condemned by politicians in Ireland and France, as well as farm organizations.
“The pressure to conclude the talks cannot be at the expense of the European agriculture sector – a win for Mercosur in agriculture is a loss for EU farmers,” Ms McGuinness warned.
“Beef is a major issue for Ireland, with concerns that concessions already on the table on beef would negatively impact the EU beef market and in turn prices to producers.
“Today in Buenos Aires I met with a representative of the French farming sector who articulated very clearly how a deal with Mercosur would not be in the interests of EU farmers and the rural regions.
“Rushing towards a deal for the sake of a deadline is not appropriate and will be counter-productive,” she concluded.