Agreement on EU/Mercosur trade deal ‘edges closer’

The European Commission has hinted that an agreement on the long-awaited Mercosur trade deal will be reached by the end of next month.

The development was apparently raised at an EU Agriculture Committee meeting at the European Parliament this morning, according to independent MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan.

In a post on his Twitter account, the Midlands-North West MEP said: “Just been informed that there is a 50% chance the EU Commission will have an agreement on Mercosur by July.”

The EU and South America’s Mercosur bloc – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – began a fresh round of trade talks earlier this month, which reportedly were “more optimistic” than previous negotiations.

Last month, the EU Foreign Affairs Council confirmed that any trade agreement between the Mercosur group and the EU would have to be ratified by the parliaments of each member state.

In recent months, there has been widespread speculation that the European Union has moved to increase its offer on beef access for Mercosur from 70,000t to 99,000t in a bid to close the major trade deal.

However, the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, has previously stated that “no offer” of 99,000t has been formally tabled by the EU.