Europe has to strengthen its ties with its partners in Latin America by ratifying the EU Mercosur Agreement as soon as possible, leading EPP Group MEPs Sven Simon and Christophe Hansen stressed today. The European Parliament is organising an in-depth public hearing on the relationship of the EU and Latin America this afternoon, while Brazilian President Lula is touring Europe.
"The EU Mercosur Agreement has to be ratified swiftly. If we continue to hesitate, China will fill the gap that Europe is leaving open through a lack of engagement. The agreement will strengthen our close partnership with Latin America at a time when democracies depend on each other. In most sectors, the agreement offers great opportunities for our economy. It simplifies exports, lowers tariffs and sets standards. In agriculture, the European Commission must end regulatory overburdening of our farmers and ensure that European products can compete against imports from Latin America at the highest level", said Sven Simon MEP, EPP Group Chief Negotiator on Mercosur in the European Parliament (EP).
Christophe Hansen MEP is the EPP Group Spokesman in the EP’s International Trade Committee. He said: "Europe is a resource-poor continent: if we don't trade, we don't produce. Those who would see the EU remain ahead of the bunch when it comes to producing the technologies that will power the digital and sustainable transition, need to get on board with solutions to secure the supply of the raw materials and other inputs that power and drive this production. Choking off domestic solutions by over-regulation, and cutting off lifelines abroad by a misguided ideological opposition to international trade solutions, is a sure-fire way of ending up being forced to import the technologies of the future. The Mercosur deal is a low-hanging fruit when it comes to diversifying our supply chains and tightening bonds with a historically linked continent. We now have a deforestation Regulation as an additional safeguard against imported deforestation. A ratified Mercosur deal would add an extra brick to the EU's international climate effort edifice. In times when the world is fracturing and fragmenting, further dilly-dallying and not seizing this opportunity would be an historical mistake."
If ratified, the EU Mercosur Agreement would establish the largest free trade zone the EU has ever created, covering a population of over 780 million, and consolidate the close political, economic and cultural ties between the two regions. Most tariffs would be eliminated. Europe would particularly benefit from the removal of current high tariffs on industrial products and from the Mercosur countries Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay to open up their procurement markets to EU companies. The Agreement would also protect about 350 of the EU's geographical indications (GIs) on the Mercosur market. For sensitive agricultural goods, limited tariff rate quotas (TRQs), in-quota duties and long staging periods, as well as a safeguard instrument have been incorporated. The Agreement contains an ambitious sustainability chapter with legally-binding rules on labour, the environment and the climate.
You can follow Parliament’s hearing here from 15.00 hrs.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States