A new poll shows that the grand majority of Europe’s people favors implementing effective protections of the Brazilian Amazon, ending deforestation there, before the EU agrees to ratify the free trade agreement with Mercosur (composed of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay).
After Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel stated on Friday “considerable doubts” over whether to keep backing the European Union’s (EU) trade deal with the Mercosur due to environmental threats that represent the deforestation in Brazil’s Amazonia, the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) responded defending the agreement that was reached last year.
The European Union Council president Donald Tusk said it was hard to imagine the bloc ratifying its trade pact with Mercosur as long as Brazil fails to curb the fires ravaging the Amazon rainforest. The EU stands by the EU-Mercosur agreement, Tusk told reporters at a G7 meeting in Biarritz in southern France.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Sunday that it could take up to three years for the free-trade deal agreed by the European Union and Mercosur to come into force, as it depends on approvals by lawmakers of all countries involved.
“Now I only have to recover the Malvinas Islands” said Argentine foreign minister Jorge Faurie, following the trade and association agreement reached on Friday in Brussels between Mercosur and the European Union.
Brazil and Argentina have started discussing a reduction in the common external tariff (TEC) of the Mercosur trade block, sources in both governments revealed on Wednesday, as their market-friendly presidents look to boost economic growth.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy arrived in Brazil on Sunday on an official two-day visit during which he will meet with President Michel Temer and follow a markedly economic agenda, including Mercosur and current ongoing talks with the EU in Brussels. The second leg of the trip will take Rajoy to Uruguay.
Visiting president of the European Parliament Martin Shultz called on his Argentine hosts to leave behind those chapters with no dialogue and concentrate on Mercosur/EU trade and cooperation negotiations that have been stalled for almost twenty years, taking advantage of an Argentina opened to the world and an ally when international relations are being redefined.
Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay have announced they do not support Venezuela as the pro tempore presidency of Mercosur, further deepening controversy in the group which could even hinder ongoing trade negotiations with the European Union and closer links with the Pacific Alliance.
Despite growing optimism among Mercosur member countries of reaching a trade agreement with the European Union, Argentine minister of foreign affairs Susana Malcorra has cautioned that the road ahead is not a bed of roses, and the coming exchange of goods and tariff reduction proposals will not satisfy any of the two sides, but that is where serious discussions begin.