Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Parliament puts parameters on Mercosur negotiations

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on October 22, 2010

by Eric van Puyvelde for Europolitics, October 22nd, 2010.

Trade negotiations are once again under way with the Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay), which are major competitors with the EU in agricultural produce. In a resolution adopted on 21 October, the European Parliament said that the EU’s agricultural, food safety and environmental standards must be observed. Furthermore, the EP criticises Argentina over its recent protectionist measures. 

Latin America still represents a key area of interest concerning foreign trade with the EU, according to the resolution by Helmut Scholz (GUE-NGL, Germany), and it is for this reason that the EP was satisfied with the conclusion of the EU-Central America agreement, on 19 May. The agreement establishes a complete partnership covering political dialogue (on issues such as human rights, climate change, science and technology, governance and development cooperation) and a free trade agreement. It also includes Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, with Panama granted observer status. 

In its resolution, the Parliament favours the resumption of negotiations on an agreement with Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay), but several member states fear the consequences for their agriculture of such a deal. According to estimates, imports coming mainly from Brazil and Argentina could increase by 70% for bovine meat and 25% for poultry “with the associated lower costs because of poorer sanitary, environmental and social standards,” MEPs stressed and, moreover, they said that imports should only be allowed if they are produced according to European consumer protection, environmental and animal well-being standards. (continue reading… )

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