Brazil in push to bring EU-Mercosur deal to conclusion
Leaders of the EU and Mercosur have called for a rapid conclusion of their negotiations on a free trade agreement, some as early as this year. The negotiations will advance substantively on market access and a number of chapters, including market access services, government procurement, sustainable development and trade facilitation. – Mercosur has five full member countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela). The purpose of Mercosur is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency. Europe’s auto suppliers have been pushing the European Union to work harder to secure a free-trade deal with the Mercosur bloc to end tariff barriers restricting the current EU exports of vehicles and parts to its South American member countries.
Mercosur negotiations are the second largest in terms of GDP amongst the currently ongoing EU negotiations, and perhaps the most complex. Brazil holds more investments in Europe than China and Russia together. Perhaps the economic and political merits of the FTA are obvious, as both sides seek to revitalise their economies in a time when the trading system is unravelling. Any potential deal on Mercosur would most likely be a so-called ‘political agreement’. This would signal that the most important tradeoffs are agreed, but leaves any technical and at times less technical issues for negotiators to resolve in the ensuing months. The EU-Mercosur agreement is expected to leave out some highly contentious topics in the EU’s current trade politics – investment protection and data protection among them. Observers say there will be relatively limited ambitions on services trade. The deal is expected to resemble agreements reached by the EU with Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, rather than the highly regulation-intense and commercially ambitious CETA agreement with Canada.