Macron threatens to scupper EU-South America trade deal over climate

(EurActiv, 3 Dec 2018) French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that he will oppose a trade deal between the EU and Mercosur if Brazil’s incoming far-right president pulls his country out of the Paris Agreement.

At the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires last week, Macron told reporters that he would be unwilling to  sign a “broad trade” pact with Mercosur if one of its members, Brazil, ends up ditching the landmark climate deal.

Negotiations 20-years-in-the-making are still ongoing between the EU and Mercosur, whose active members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and the current sticking point is the issue of agricultural imports.

“I cannot ask French farmers and workers to change their production habits to lead the ecological transition, only to sign trade agreements with countries that do not do the same,” Macron said. “We want balanced agreements.”

France is one of the EU countries, along with Ireland, that are most apprehensive about the prospective deal, which could include beef imports and compete with domestic production. The EU’s list of protected products is also a bone of contention in the talks.

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EurActiv, 3 Dec 2018: Macron threatens to scupper EU-South America trade deal over climate