Now Reading
EU-Mercosur trade agreement to clear environmental hurdles in this year’s EU commissioner
[vc_row thb_full_width=”true” thb_row_padding=”true” thb_column_padding=”true” css=”.vc_custom_1608290870297{background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][thb_postcarousel style=”style3″ navigation=”true” infinite=”” source=”size:6|post_type:post”][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

EU-Mercosur trade agreement to clear environmental hurdles in this year’s EU commissioner

Virginijus Sinkevicius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, attends a meeting at French Chamber of Commerce in Sao Paulo, Brazil, April 30, 2022. REUTERS/Suamy Betoun

Register now to get unlimited FREE access to

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The European Union could resolve environmental concerns that have been holding back a free trade agreement by the year’s end, EU Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius said to Reuters.

Brazil’s EU ambassadors had previously informed Brazil that the Mercosur free trade agreement, which was in principle agreed to in 2019, would not be ratified unless concrete steps were taken to stop the rapid destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

Mercosur includes Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

Register now to get unlimited FREE access to

Brazilian ministers accuse opponents of the deal of using environment concerns as an excuse to promote trade protectionionism.

Sinkevicius, who is the environment commissioner, stated that a “sideletter” or an addendum to the free-trade agreement would address the lack of environmental safeguards. The approval of the side letter would be a condition for the final approval of the free-trade agreement.

He said that he was working on the Mercosur agreement on a side-letter, which will be completed, hopefully, this… in regards to the missing parts… such as the environmental part, during a telephone interview after a four day visit to Brazil.

Sinkevicius stated that he raised concerns about Brazil’s environment minister as well as legislators regarding a bill in Brazil’s Congress that would allow commercial mining on protected indigenous land.

Sinkevicius stated that if Congress passes the law, which is supported by right-wing President Jair Borsonaro, it could affect the free-trade agreement and Brazil’s application for membership in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

He said, “That would certainly not help.”

Sinkevicius, who said that data so far in 2022 indicates that Brazilian deforestation has been increasing for three consecutive years under Bolsonaro’s leadership, stated that the data suggests that it will likely increase again.

He said that it was too early to tell if Brazil has changed its policy and is now taking environmental conservation seriously.

The commissioner stated, “I will believe it only when I see it.”

Register now to get unlimited FREE access to

Jake Spring Reporting; Lisa Shumaker Editing

Our Standards The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.