Lula puts a deadline for the Mercosur/EU trade agreement: second half of 2023

Lula puts a deadline for the Mercosur/EU trade agreement: second half of 2023

Thursday, September 14th 2023 – 12:00 UTC

”They are always blaming Brazil, Argentina, Mercosur, but I’m saying, we want the agreement, and we need it,” Lula underlined, but treated on “equal terms”

Brazil wants to finally sign the pending trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union, however, the deal must take place on “equal terms” and negotiations will be halted if they don’t progress this semester. The statement was from President Lula da Silva at the end of the G20 summit in India.

 “I said I want to make the deal and convene a meeting with the presidents to make a decision and say: ‘Do you want it or not?’. They always try to convey the idea that it’s Brazil that doesn’t want, that it’s Argentina that doesn’t want, that it’s Mercosur that doesn’t. “No, we want it, and we need it,” Lula underlined.

However, the Brazilian president emphasized that Mercosur wants to be treated on “equal terms.”

“A trade agreement is a two-way lane. I buy, and I sell. I value mine, and they value theirs. We have to reach a balance, and in my opinion, we have to reach an agreement in these coming months. It’s either yes or no. Either make a deal or stop discussing it because, after 22 years, no one believes in it anymore,” he said.

The statements followed Lula’s participation at the G20, where he met with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and French president Emmanuel Macron.

“I want to make the deal while I’m still the President of Mercosur. We received an addendum, which was rejected because it said it would impose sanctions against Brazil and Mercosur if we didn’t comply with certain environmental issues. We don’t accept sanctions threats, and we don’t accept the idea of government procurement as demanded by EU. Government procurement is a tool of industrial policy for each country. It was like that in the United States, it was like that in Germany, and it will be like that in Brazil,” Lula declared.

According to the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mauro Vieira, EU negotiators will travel to Brasília on September 21 to try to advance negotiations, but there will be a preparatory virtual meeting between delegations before that.

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