France's Macron says EU-Mercosur proposal is 'very bad deal' on visit to Brazil

Emmanuel Macron, French President

© APA | Emmanuel Macron, French President

# 28 March 2024 09:35 (UTC +04:00)

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday during his visit to Brazil that a potential agreement between the European Union and the South American Mercosur trade bloc as it stands is a "very bad deal" and more climate commitments are needed, APA reports citing Reuters.

"As it is negotiated today, it is a very bad deal, for you and for us," Macron told businessmen in Sao Paulo while on a three-day trip to Latin America's largest economy, amid troubled talks over a free trade deal between the two economic blocs.

"There is nothing that takes into consideration the subject of biodiversity and climate; nothing," Macron said. "Let's forge a new deal in light of our goals and reality, a trade deal that is responsible on development, climate and biodiversity."

While Brazil has said it is ready to sign a deal, France has repeatedly expressed reservations and said its farmers have objected to the prospect that could allow in agricultural imports, notably beef, that do not meet strict EU standards.

"We still have time," said Brazilian Finance Minister Fernando Haddad at the same event. "It's true we lost an opportunity at the end of last year, but we should not give up on this deal."

Haddad added that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had invested a lot of time in the deal and would keep investing in a closer relationship with the European market.

Earlier this month, European officials said "decisive progress" was possible by July.

Macron also called for much more direct investment from Brazilian firms into France and said the two countries could cooperate on investing in third markets, notably in Africa.

Lula has visited several African nations since he returned to power last year and said he wants to resume the "good and fruitful" relations his country used to have with the continent when he was first elected as president in the 2000s.