EU-South America trade deal on the verge of collapse

The trade deal between European Union and four of South America nations, came to an end after struggling for past 20 years. These four nations together form the Mercosur trading bloc, which included Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. The bloc agreed to provide open its market to the 28 EU member states. However, the deal was criticised by some European countries such as France and Ireland over concerns related to agricultural sectors. 

The agricultural community fear that cheap South American imports would ruin their business and eat up their market share. The Irish Farmer’s Association mentioned on its website that the ‘would have a severe impact on Irish and European farmers, who are already struggling from the impact of Brexit and falling consumption levels.’

The two blocs, came close to signing the agreement last month, but did not succeed. Two weeks ago Irish parliament voted down the EU-Mercosur deal, calling the agreement as “a bad deal for Ireland and the planet.”

Ireland’s opposition party Sinn Féin suggested a motion, to counter the agreement. Besides, seeking a unanimous rejection within the nation, the motion also urged its parliament to “immediately begin building a coalition across the EU to ensure that this deal is rejected.”

Sinn Féin’s agriculture spokesperson Brian Stanley said the Irish parliament  should hear the plea of Irish farmers and reject the deal, which is also bad for the environment.

“Today must be a turning point for farmers and for our environment,” Mr Stanley said.

The deal to become a reality, needed one to two years tentatively and approval from EU governments, the European Parliament and some 40 national parliaments across Europe, that too after certain modifications.

With regard to the modification of the agreement analysts at research firm Teneo Intelligence said, “Ratification in Europe is likely to be far from straightforward. The risk of a failed vote would be significant.”

It is not clear if the deal has been cancelled for now or forever.

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