Brazil’s Lula Intends to Revive EU-Mercosur Trade Deal Talks If Elected

Brazil’s presidential election frontrunner Lula intends to reopen European Union-Mercosur trade talks if elected. Lula also wants to add some provisions to the deal, including environmental protection, human rights and technology. If Lula wins the election in October, Brazil will likely join Argentina and environmental groups to review the agreement, which has been blocked in Europe over concerns that it could destroy the Amazon rainforest under the Bolsonaro administration.

The decision will put Lula in a delicate balance between his ambitious environmental pledges, and his old ties with agribusiness leaders who have been critical of Europe’s environmental demands as “hypocritical barriers to trade”.

Lula’s campaign believes they can strengthen clauses on climate without them becoming a pretext for protectionism.

Still, they acknowledge the challenge to keep the agreement balanced to serve climate targets and sustainable development, as well as industrial development with up to date technology that must be green.

The Lula campaign also suggests adjustments to the agreement, which took two decades to negotiate, in order to improve provisions on government purchases, services and intellectual property.

Lula aims to strengthen the strategic partnership between Mercosur and the EU, and to create the largest free trade area in the world.

Lula leads by double digits in opinion polls ahead of the Oct. 2 election against Bolsonaro, whose presidency has increased deforestation of the Amazon.

The EU believes under Bolsonaro administration, an agreement with Mercosur is impossible largely because of environmental concerns.

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