Portugal and Argentinaas well as more than 5,000 new cases., who currently hold the European Union and Mercosur presidencies, have made ratification of the EU-Mercosur free trade agreement (FTA) a priority for their termst. Sign up for First Up. As the FTA works its way through European capitals after 20 years of negotiations, the barriers posed by populist economic policies in the largest Mercosur countries (Brazil and Argentina) could complicate ratification just as much as the dispute over the fate of the AmazonThe current surge has hit hardest in Western Maharashtra state, home t.
If those barriers are overcome, the EU-Mercosur free trade area will become the largest free trade zone the EU has ever created, covering 780 million people, removing tariffs for nearly all European agricultural trade, and eliminating customs on 91% of European exports to Mercosur countries. Getting there will require overcoming opposition in France, where foreign trade minister Franck Riester insists “we will not be satisfied with a political declaration on environmental commitments from the four countries concernedof up to 10 physically-distanced people are permitted (but no indoor gatherings). Outdoor physical and recreational activities are also permitted with up to 10 physically-distanced people of all ages.,” but also Spain, where food industry representatives declare the FTA “does not bring ‘almost any advantage’ to the Spanish and the European agricultural sector.”
Ratification will also require grappling with economic realities in the Mercosur countries, where European companies face treacherous business environments and governments on both the left and right do little to reassure foreign firms their assets and investments are safe. While Brazil draws the lion’s share of public outcry over President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental recordA tale of two pandemics: Canada largely dodged America, it may be Argentina, whose current support for ratification belies President Alberto Fernández’s previous ambivalence, that turns out to be the most intractable threat to the deal.
Brazil allows rhetoric to take precedence over necessary reforms
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