Macron attacks outdated EU-Mercosur deal

Geraldo Alckmin 🇧🇷 @geraldoalckmin
From left: French President Emmanuel Macron, Brazil’s Vice President and ministry of industry Geraldo Alckmin and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

French President Emmanuel Macron took a jab against the trade deal between the European Union and its South American equivalent Mercosur during an industry forum in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Macron has been visiting Brazil and was speaking at a forum of Sao Paulo’s Industry Federation. He criticized the current form of the deal, saying that in its current form it is outdated as “it was negotiated 20 years ago.” For him, the trade deals need to be rewritten as it is a “terrible deal, for you and for us.”  In particular, Macron highlighted that the current deal doesn’t mention climate change: “It is important to take diversity and the climate into account, and those are not being considered.”

In addition, Macron said that he will not sign any agreement with Mercosur that doesn’t including reciprocity on farmers’ responsibility. He would like South American producers to have the same environmental and health standards as European ones.

Farmers unrest had swept Europe in the past months, with France being one of the countries with the strongest protests. One point of contention across the continent has been the perception that European farmers are vexed with heavy standards that put them at disadvantage against producers from outside the bloc.

Brazil’s Vice President and ministry of industry Geraldo Alckmin was present during Macron’s speech, but he didn’t directly mention the trade deal: “President Lula always says there needs to be reciprocity. It is win-win. We gain markets, we open our market,” he said during his speech.

The EU-Mercosur deal was not part of the official agenda of Macron’s three-day visit to Brazil. During the visit, Macron and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva unveiled a 1 billion euros investment plan in the Amazon region that will also affect French Guiana, the French oversee territory that borders Brazil. The four-year plan aims at protecting rainforest in the area.

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