Mercosur deal agreement ‘a step away’ – Brazilian President

President of Brazil Michel Temer has reportedly stated that Mercosur and the European Union are “a step away” from signing a free trade agreement, according to Reuters.

Temer is believed to have made the comments yesterday (Wednesday, March 21) during an economic council meeting in Brasilia – a day after several European officials attending a G20 summit in Buenos Aires allegedly said that significant obstacles remained to the long-delayed trade deal.

‘Naive’

Meanwhile, in Ireland, Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) president Joe Healy said EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom is extremely naive to believe that the Brazilians are going to conform to the rules in any Mercosur trade agreement with the EU – especially with regard to meeting EU standards on beef or other meat imports.

He said it is clear Commissioner Malmstrom is “out of her depth” in these negotiations and the Brazilians are pulling the wool over her eyes on the critical issue of standards.

Healy added that the record speaks for itself and EU audits show that for the last 18 years the Brazilians have consistently failed to meet EU standards on the critical issues of traceability, food safety, animal and plant health, environmental and labour standards.

He said: “The Brazilians have thrown away the rule book, the latest example being the major meat scandal and fraud ‘Weak Flesh’ from this time last year, which is still running at the very highest administration and political levels in Brazil.”

‘More scandals’

Healy said in the last two weeks more scandals have emerged in Brazil, involving more meat plants being delisted, new arrests, bribes, investigations into certified laboratories and officials, all revealing that there is a lot more to run on this saga in Brazil.

Also Read: EU-destined exports from 10 Brazilian poultry plants suspended

The president said: “Commissioner Malmstrom has already gone way too far in her reckless sell-out of European beef farmers for the benefit of Brazilian big business and the European auto sector.”