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Macron calls proposed EU-Mercosur trade pact ‘very bad deal’ lacking strong climate commitments
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Macron calls proposed EU-Mercosur trade pact ‘very bad deal’ lacking strong climate commitments

Emmanuel Macron has called a proposed trade agreement between the EU and South America’s Mercosur bloc a “very bad deal” that lacks proper climate considerations.

“As it is negotiated today, it is a very bad deal, for you and for us,” the French president told Brazilian businessmen in São Paulo on Wednesday while on a three-day trip to Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy.

The comments come amid troubled talks over a free trade deal between the two economic blocs.

“There is nothing that takes into consideration the subject of biodiversity and climate – nothing,” Macron said. “Let’s forge a new deal in light of our goals and reality, a trade deal that is responsible on development, climate and biodiversity.”

While Brazil has said it is ready to sign a deal, France has repeatedly expressed reservations and said its farmers have objected to the prospect that could allow in agricultural imports, notably beef, that do not meet strict EU standards.

“We still have time,” Brazil’s finance minister, Fernando Haddad, said at the same event. “It’s true we lost an opportunity at the end of last year but we should not give up on this deal.”

He added that the Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, had invested a lot of time in the deal and would keep investing in a closer relationship with the European market.

Earlier this month, European officials said “decisive progress” was possible by July.

Macron also called for much more direct investment from Brazilian firms into France and said the two countries could cooperate on investing in third markets, notably in Africa.

Lula has visited several African nations since he returned to power last year and said he wants to resume the “good and fruitful” relations his country used to have with the continent when he was first elected as president in the 2000s.

His government has also looked to reverse policies under the prior government of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro that sought to undo climate protections.

At upcoming G20 and Cop summits in Brazil, Macron said he planned to push for more international standards to financially incentivise banks, firms and investors to decarbonise industrial processes and better preserve the environment.

“We need to go much faster, much stronger, much farther,” Macron said.

Source: theguardian.com