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'Real threat': Uruguayan negotiator on statements by France regarding the …

by Ace Damon
'Real threat': Uruguayan negotiator on statements by France regarding the ...

France's statement that it will not sign the agreement between Mercosur and the European Union on the basis of the Brazilian government's environmental policy threatens ratification of the treaty, a member of the Uruguayan negotiating team, Sebastián Hagobian, told Sputnik.

On Tuesday (08), the French Environment Minister said that her country will not sign the free trade agreement with Mercosur, due to Brazil's environmental policy, "which does not respect the Amazon" and that, according to It does not fulfill its commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement.

"France is undoubtedly a very relevant actor in the European Union, and if it does not ratify the treaty, it means a real threat," said Hagobian.

According to the Uruguayan negotiator, to understand France's position, one must consider that the French government is under heavy pressure from the country's agricultural sector. Mercosur has a very competitive agriculture, which will strongly rival the French agricultural sector if the agreement is ratified.

Word clash between Bolsonaro and Macron

In recent months, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has engaged in a clash of words with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, accusing him of "colonialist mentality" and pursuing personal political goals.

The statements were in response to the French leader's decision to include the topic of Amazonian fires on the agenda of the G-7 summit, to which Brazil is not a party.

In response to Bolsonaro's statements, Macron accused the Brazilian of failing to fulfill the commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement and opposed the signing of the free trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union.

Mercosur-European Union Agreement

Mercosur is a free trade zone comprising four founding members, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia, whose accession process is in the final stages, and Venezuela, which is temporarily suspended due to application of the democratic clause provided for in the Ushuaia Protocol.

Brazil receives from Argentina the pro-tempore Presidency of Mercosur, in August 2019

Together, the founding members of Mercosur represent 75% of South America's GDP and the world's fifth largest GDP, estimated at $ 11.38 billion. Intra-bloc trade has grown nine-fold since the creation of Mercosur in 1991, reaching $ 167 billion annually.

On July 28 this year, the conclusion of the free trade agreement negotiations between Mercosur and the European Union was announced after twenty years of negotiations. The member countries of both blocs must now ratify the agreement.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the agreement with Mercosur is the largest and most comprehensive free trade agreement ever negotiated by the European bloc. The agreement provides for a significant reduction in trade tariffs between the two regions.

However, due to the recent crisis triggered by fires in the Amazon rainforest, some EU countries have opposed the ratification of the agreement.

. (tagsToTranslate) Mercosur-European Union Agreement (t) Environmental Policy (t) France opposes Mercosur-European Union Agreement

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