According to Reuters, European Union officials have approached the Brazilian government to restart negotiations with South America’s Mercosur bloc over a stalled trade deal.
The Mercosur agreement, which took two decades to negotiate and would create the largest free market in the world in terms of population.
Within Europe, however, there was significant opposition to the deal, particularly from farmers in France and Ireland. In addition, environmental concerns about the agreement have led to significant opposition to the agreement in many member states.
The deal has raised major concerns among stakeholders in the Irish beef sector as it would allow an additional 100,000 tonnes of beef to be imported into the EU market.
Nonetheless, Brazil’s emergence as an “agricultural powerhouse” amid the ongoing war in Ukraine is said to have been the reason behind the EU’s return to talks.
Meanwhile, development comes as Brazil’s presidential election lead candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he supports resuming talks on a stalled European Union trade deal with South America’s trading bloc Mercosur to add provisions on environmental protection, human rights and technology , a senior foreign policy adviser said.
If the left-wing former president wins the October vote, Brazil would likely join calls from Argentina and environmentalists to review the deal, now blocked in Europe over concerns over the destruction of the Amazon rainforest under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. adviser Celso Amorim told Reuters.
“It doesn’t mean renegotiating the whole pact or starting from scratch,” said Amorim, who was Lula’s foreign minister during his two terms as president from 2003 to 2010.
The position highlights a delicate balance for Lula, who has made bold environmental pledges while strengthening old ties with agribusiness leaders who have slammed Europe’s environmental demands as hypocritical trade barriers.
“Without this becoming an excuse for protectionism, I think we can strengthen the climate clauses,” Amorim said.
“It must be a balanced agreement that takes into account global warming and the need for sustainable development, while allowing for industrial development using cutting-edge technology that must be environmentally friendly,” he said.
Amorim also proposed “adjustments” to the deal, which took two decades to negotiate, to improve provisions on government purchases, services and intellectual property.
He said Lula believes in the need for a strategic deal between the EU and Mercosur to create the world’s largest free trade area.
Lula led by double digits in opinion polls ahead of the Oct. 2 election against Bolsonaro, whose presidency has led to increasing deforestation in the Amazon.
“With Bolsonaro in government, there can be no Mercosur deal, that’s very clear,” said Anna Cavazzini MEP, who led a Greens/EFA group mission to Brazil last week to report on the threat of illegal measures in the Amazon evaluate gold mining and logging.
In 2020 her Greens/EFA successfully pushed through an amendment preventing the Mercosur Pact from moving forward in its current form on deforestation.
“The deal needs to be renegotiated to make it absolutely clear that we don’t import goods from deforested areas,” she said in a phone interview, adding, “I don’t know if we even need a deal.”
Cavazzini and two MEP colleagues, Michele Rivasi and Claude Gruffat, visited indigenous communities and met their leaders during their visit to the Amazon, where they said the lack of law enforcement was “shocking”.
“To be there and see how deeply the indigenous people are really affected was heartbreaking,” Cavazzini said. “Brazil and Europe must change course and act, otherwise the forest will disappear.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/agri-business/agri-food/eu-contacts-brazil-to-resume-mercosur-trade-pact-talks-report-41917395.html EU contacts Brazil to resume Mercosur trade pact talks – report