"If there is no deal, patience," Lula comments on Mercosur, EU

The Brazilian president said he refuses agreements leading to losses

Published on 04/12/2023 - 11:07 By Andreia Verdélio - Agência Brasil - Brasília

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva emphasized on Sunday (Dec. 3) that any absence of a trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union (EU) does not stem from a lack of willingness on the part of South Americans but rather from European protectionism.

In recent days, the Brazilian president visited the Middle East. On Sunday, before departing Dubai, United Arab Emirates, en route to Berlin, Germany, for scheduled bilateral appointments, he highlighted Germany's support for the Mercosur-EU agreement.

"If there's no deal, patience; it's not due to a lack of will. The crucial point is to dispel the notion that it's solely because of Brazil or South America. Let's acknowledge that affluent nations are hesitant to engage in agreements involving concessions. It's always about gaining more, and we are no longer colonized, we're independent. We seek fair treatment as sovereign nations with valuable commodities, each with its own price. What we aim for is a sense of equilibrium," articulated Lula.

Lula met with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday (2), aiming to advance the negotiations.

The French president considers the Mercosur-EU agreement "incoherent" and "badly patched up." Macron emphasized that it “does not take into account biodiversity and the climate within it. It is an outdated trade deal that eliminates tariffs.”

Lula contends that France exhibits protectionism concerning its agricultural interests. Furthermore, the Brazilian president advocates for modifications to the free trade agreement's clauses related to government procurement bids. He believes such changes would foster the development of the national industry and create opportunities for small and medium-sized companies.

Approved in 2019 after two decades of negotiations, the Mercosur-EU agreement awaits ratification by the parliaments of all participating countries from the two blocs to come into force. This extensive negotiation involves 31 countries, encompassing both tariff and regulatory aspects. It addresses services, public procurement, trade facilitation, technical barriers, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and intellectual property.

"If there's no deal, at least the responsibility will be clear. What we won't do is engage in an agreement that results in losses," emphasized Lula.

Translation: Mário Nunes -  Edition: Aline Leal

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