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Is France misguided to keep rejecting the EU-Mercosur trade deal?

While French President Emmanuel Macron has called a proposed trade pact between the European Union and South America's Mercosur bloc a "very bad deal", analysts say it has its advantages for France.

Speaking at a business forum in Brazil this week, Macron said the deal, as it stands, did not include sufficient climate guarantees.

"There is nothing that takes into consideration the subject of biodiversity and climate – nothing," Macron said as he asked for a new deal to be forged.

The long-awaited deal between the EU and the Mercosur bloc of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay would create a free-trade area of more than 750 million people. First agreed in 2019, it has been on hold since then due to various European concerns.

While Brazil says it is ready to sign, France continues to express reservations. Its farmers have objected to the prospect of allowing in agricultural imports, notably beef, that do not meet strict EU standards.

"We still have time... We should not give up on this deal," said Brazilian Finance Minister Fernando Haddad, speaking at the same event as Macron.

Haddad added that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would continue to seek a closer relationship with the European market.

Talks with the EU continue. Earlier this month, European officials said "decisive progress" was possible by July.

Trade imbalance

Under Macron, France has proved one of the EU members most reluctant to sign.

Proponents of the deal usually point to the vastness of the free-trade area it would create, covering about 20 percent of the global economy.

Observers see this as an argument to proceed with the Mercosur deal.


Read more on RFI English

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