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Brazil official says EU-Mercosur trade pact still under review

A proposed agreement between the Mercosur trade bloc and the European Union is being reviewed by lawyers, a process that may take six to seven months to finalise.

29 August 2019, at 11:05am

A proposed agreement between the Mercosur trade bloc and the European Union is being reviewed by lawyers, a process that may take six to seven months to finalise, Brazilian Deputy Economy Minister for Foreign Trade Marcos Troyjo said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

After the terms are assessed by the participating countries, the pact will need approval by each member country’s parliament, Troyjo said in response to a moderator’s question during a meat industry conference in São Paulo.

He said the EU-Mercosur agreement may be approved, rejected or shelved by the countries that negotiated it, but not revised or amended.

Troyjo played down French President Emanuel Macron’s threat to oppose the trade deal saying Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had lied about climate change efforts at the G20 summit in Japan.

“I have a hard time understanding when one says France could be against the EU-Mercosur agreement,” he said. “What France are you talking about?”

France has been among Brazil’s three largest foreign direct investors since 2000, Troyjo said, adding that the country has a strong industrial sector that lives alongside a “powerful lobby of inefficient farmers.”

Troyjo said Brazil was seeking trade agreements with countries like Singapore, Canada, and Mexico, and would soon begin talks with the United States.

“Brazil has a low percentage of its GDP coming from exports. We will solve this anomaly,” he said during the inaugural speech to open the Siavs biannual poultry and pork processors conference in São Paulo.