Pubblicato in: Agricoltura, Commercio, Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica America Latina., Unione Europea

Trattato EU – Mercosur. Esplode la rabbia del comparto agroalimentare europeo.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-07-05.

2019-07-04__Mercosur 001

Il Mercosur è il mercato comune dell’America meridionale. Ne fanno parte in qualità di Stati membri: Argentina, Brasile, Paraguay, Uruguay e Venezuela. Sono inoltre Stati associati la Bolivia , il Cile, il Perù, la Colombia e l’Ecuador.

Il Brasile da solo sviluppa circa il 77% del prodotto economico del gruppo, l’Argentina il 20%, l’Uruguay il 2% e il Paraguay l’1%. La popolazione totale ammonta a circa 304 milioni di persone.

Il pil annuo ammonta a 2,670 miliardi Usd, con un pil procapite di 8,769 Usd: si tenga però conto che il costo della vita è molto basso.

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Pochi giorni or sono, l’Unione Europea e Mercosur hanno firmato un ponderoso trattato di libero scambio, fortemente voluto dalla dirigenza uscente europea.

Inter alias,  risulta essere stato liberalizzato l’import – export agroalimentare, fatto questo che preoccupa gli agricoltori francesi, già sotto pressione a causa della politica fiscale del loro governo.

«European farmers and environmentalists have denounced a historic trade deal signed between the EU and South American countries as a “dark moment”, warning of unfair competition and dire consequences for the climate»

«Tough negotiations between the EU and the Mercosur countries — Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay — had repeatedly stalled because of European farmer sensitivities over the beef market»

«Brussels said the EU’s largest ever deal would save European companies more than four billion euros ($4.5 billion) in trade duties every year»

«But shortly after its announcement, the agreement sparked an angry backlash including from the Copa-Cogeca union, which represents 23 million farmers across the EU»

«A deal encouraging double standards trade policy and widening the gap between what is being asked from European farmers and what is tolerated for #Mercosur producers»

«The head of Germany’s main farming union, Joachim Rukwied, on Saturday called the deal “totally unbalanced”, saying it would threaten the livelihoods of “many family-run agricultural businesses”.»

«Similarly, Christiane Lambert of France’s biggest agricultural union FNSEA tweeted: “Unacceptable signature of a Mercosur-EU accord, which will expose European farmers to unfair competition and consumers to total deception.”»

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Non è solo questione del mercato delle carni, ma anche di tutti i relativi sottoprodotti, quali per esempio il pellame.

Nella Unione Europea gli allevamenti sono sottoposti ad un nugolo di leggi, norme e regolamenti nonché ad una pressione fiscale, tali da rendere molto onerosa la produzione. Se è vero che la EU finanzia il suo comparto agroalimentare in modo anche molto generoso, sarebbe anche altrettanto vero considerare come la quasi totalità dei fondi va a finire in Francia ed in Germania. Eppure, nonostante tutti questi aiuti, l’agroalimentare francese e tedesco è alle corde per i motivi su citati.

Le preoccupazioni degli operatori del comparto agricolo sono quindi più che giustificate.

A conti fatti, questo accordo risulta essere vantaggioso solo per la finanza europea, che adesso ha mano libera di investire nel comparto agroalimentare del Mercosur ove si produce a prezzi minimi rispetto all’Unione Europa, che poi deve importare dall’America latina, se non altro per la disparità dei costi.

Da ultimo, ma non certo per ultimo, si trova particolarmente disdicevole che un trattato di simile portata sia stato firmato da una dirigenza arrivata a scadenza: sarebbe stato ben più corretto che avesse lasciato la scelta alla Commissione entrante.



France 24. 2019-07-02. Farmers, environmentalists slam ‘sell-out’ EU-Mercosur trade deal

European farmers and environmentalists have denounced a historic trade deal signed between the EU and South American countries as a “dark moment”, warning of unfair competition and dire consequences for the climate.

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The European Union and South American trade bloc Mercosur sealed the blockbuster pact on Friday evening, ending 20 years of talks over one of the world’s largest regional commercial accords.

Tough negotiations between the EU and the Mercosur countries — Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay — had repeatedly stalled because of European farmer sensitivities over the beef market.

Brussels said the EU’s largest ever deal would save European companies more than four billion euros ($4.5 billion) in trade duties every year.

But shortly after its announcement, the agreement sparked an angry backlash including from the Copa-Cogeca union, which represents 23 million farmers across the EU.

“This deal will go down in history as a very dark moment,” Copa-Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen tweeted.

“A deal encouraging double standards trade policy and widening the gap between what is being asked from European farmers and what is tolerated for #Mercosur producers.”

Criticism was particularly strong in agricultural power houses like France and Germany.

The head of Germany’s main farming union, Joachim Rukwied, on Saturday called the deal “totally unbalanced”, saying it would threaten the livelihoods of “many family-run agricultural businesses”.

Similarly, Christiane Lambert of France’s biggest agricultural union FNSEA tweeted: “Unacceptable signature of a Mercosur-EU accord, which will expose European farmers to unfair competition and consumers to total deception.”

French environmentalist and MEP Yannick Jadot said it was “shameful” of the European Commission to have signed a pact with Brazil’s far-right and climate-sceptic leader Jair Bolsonaro.

Speaking on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan, French President Emmanuel Macron hailed a “good” deal, but said his government would remain “vigilant”.

He welcomed that the yet-to-be-published accord explicitly referenced the Paris climate agreement and contained guarantees that it would “respect” the EU’s environmental and sanitary standards.

But even within Macron’s own camp, there was disunity over the deal, with MEP Pascal Durand calling it a “dark day”.

‘Feeble sell-out’

The pact — announced in a climate of tension between the US and several of its bilateral trade partners — covers markets that total approximately 780 million consumers representing a quarter of global GDP.

Once implemented, it is tipped to eliminate 99 percent of agricultural and industrial tariffs on both sides and facilitate exchanges in services and government procurement, reduce technical barriers, and effect sanitary and phytosanitary measures and intellectual property.

In its biggest concession, the EU will open its markets to South America agricultural products via quotas: 99 tonnes of beef per year at a preferential rate of 7.5 percent, a supplementary quota on 180,000 tonnes of sugar and another one on 100,000 tonnes of poultry.

Ireland’s Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said he was “very disappointed” about these quotas introduced “at a time when the beef sector in Europe is facing significant uncertainty because of Brexit”.

The Irish Farmers’ Association was also upset, labelling the deal “a disgraceful and feeble sell-out”.

EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan acknowledged the agreement presented “some challenges”, but said the European Commission would provide up to a billion euros in support to farmers “in the event of market disturbances”.

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AFP 24. 2019-07-02. Macron defends Mercosur trade deal, as farmers protest

French President Emmanuel Macron defended a huge trade deal agreed by the European Union and four South American countries and warned against “neo-protectionism”, as farmers and environmentalists step up their resistance to the accord.

The deal announced Friday by the EU and Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay is the largest ever struck by the European Union.

It covers markets that total approximately 780 million consumers representing a quarter of global GDP.

Speaking in Brussels late Tuesday, Macron defended the agreement, despite a government spokeswoman earlier saying France was not yet rushing to ratify the trade deal.

He warned against what he termed “neo-protectionist” attitudes, which would refuse reciprocity and exchange.

“We are not protectionists,” he said when asked about the issue.

“Those who say that any trade agreement is bad, tell me in such cases how they will dress, eat, move,” he said, adding: “A trade deal is not bad in itself”.

Macron added that measures had been taken on the European side to protect, via quotas, sensitive sectors such as beef and sugar.

EU and Mercosur countries have hailed the deal, which was 20 years in the making, as historic.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker billed it as a rousing endorsement of “rules-based trade” at a time of growing protectionism in the US, which is embroiled in a trade war with China and disputes with the EU.

But the road to ratification by all 28 EU members could be a long one given the growing public hostility to free trade deals, even in traditionally trade-friendly countries.

On Tuesday evening farmers gathered across France to protest against the deal.

French government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye had earlier said France would not be rushing to ratify it before seeing all the details.

Citing the 2017 EU-Canada trade deal, which France has yet to ratify, she told the BFM news channel: “We will do the same thing with the Mercosur countries… We will look at it in detail and depending on the details we will decide.

“France is not yet ready to ratify (the deal),” she said.

The note of caution sounded by France Tuesday “is the first step in a sort of battle of wills over the concrete implementation of the deal”, said the vice-president of the Institut des Ameriques research group in Paris, Carlos Quenan.

– ‘Dark moment’ –

The Bruegel institute, a Brussels-based economic think tank, in an August 2018 paper noted a growing fear of openness to international trade, blamed for increasing inequality.

It cited a poll showing 75 percent of the French and 57 percent of Germans favouring greater protection against foreign competition.

“The question is not whether this deal is interesting in trade terms only. We must ensure that it respects the goals we have set ourselves in terms of sustainable farming practices and fighting climate change,” Sebastien Jean, director of France’s CEPII centre for economic research, told AFP.

The negotiations had repeatedly foundered over the years on opposition from European beef producers, particularly small farmers who fear being undercut on price by imports from Brazil, the world’s biggest beef exporter.

The Copa-Cogeca union, which represents 23 million farmers across the EU, warned the deal “will go down in history as a very dark moment”.

Under the deal, Mercosur countries will be able to export 99,000 tonnes of beef to Europe at 7.5 percent tariffs, among other concessions.

While the quotas are a fraction of the amounts Mercosur was seeking, France’s Confederation Paysanne union warned that grass-fed French beef would face unfair competition “from animals crammed into feedlots and stuffed with GMO soy and antibiotics.”

– The trade lever –

The South Americans, for their part, will progressively eliminate duties on European cars and car parts, among other products, and open up their public sectors to EU companies.

The deal contains a “safeguard mechanism” allowing both parties to temporarily restrict agricultural imports in case of a deluge and also allows European authorities to suspend approval for products they perceive as posing a health risk.

But it has also run afoul of climate activists, who accuse Brazil of sacrificing its rainforests and indigenous peoples to the country’s powerful agrifood sector.

French environmentalist and European parliamentarian Yannick Jadot said it was “shameful” of the European Commission to have signed a pact with climate-sceptic Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro.

Defenders of the agreement have argued that it will give the EU more leverage in South America, a continent where it has long played second fiddle to the United States.

France’s government is expected to recommend ratifying the deal in a meeting on Wednesday.

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