PARIS, September 18 – France remains opposed to a free trade agreement in its current form proposed between the EU and countries in South America due to “major” concerns about deforestation in the region, said today ‘hui the government.
France must make three demands for negotiations to continue, which would crucially include meeting the goals of the Paris agreement on climate change, the government said.
The pact between the European Union and the South American free trade bloc of Mercosur – comprising Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay – was concluded in principle last year after two decades of feuds.
“The draft agreement does not contain any provision to impose discipline on the practices of the Mercosur countries in the fight against deforestation,” the French government said in a statement.
“This is the main gap in this agreement and it is the main reason why, as it stands, France is opposed to the draft agreement,” he added.
His statement comes as a report has been delivered to Prime Minister Jean Castex who heavily criticizes the deal, describing it as “a missed opportunity for the EU to use its negotiating power to secure solid guarantees” on the issues. environmental.
The 184-page report, which was seen by AFP yesterday, examines in detail the deforestation in the Amazon and the increase in beef production in the region.
The pact has yet to be ratified by the 27 EU member states. France is far from being the only one to express its resistance.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this month expressed “serious doubts” about the deal, given the extent of deforestation, her spokeswoman said.
French President Emmanuel Macron has been one of the main criticisms of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate change skeptic who has lifted restrictions on the exploitation of the vast riches of the Amazon.
In an extraordinary row last year, Macron rebuked the ‘extraordinarily rude’ Bolsonaro after the Brazilian leader personally expressed his approval for a Facebook post suggesting that Brigitte Macron was not as attractive as his own first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro retaliated, accusing Macron of treating Brazil as “a colony or a no man’s land”. – AFP