President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva criticized a clause inserted by the European Union in the agreement with Mercosur, which provides for sanctions against signatory states if they do not meet environmental objectives.
His comments came during the joint press conference with Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, after their meeting on Monday. She is currently on tour in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico.
He had “expressed Brazil’s concerns to von der Leyen regarding the complementary instrument to the agreement presented by the European Union in March this year, which expands Brazil’s obligations and provides for sanctions in the event of non-compliance” , did he declare. “The premise that should exist between strategic partners is one of mutual trust, not distrust and sanctions.”
The EU missionary said he “in fact sent a letter with an additional instrument”. It is now awaiting a counter-proposal from Mercosur to negotiate and conclude the agreement by the end of the year.
This “instrument” provides that two years after the entry into force of the trade agreement, possible sanctions will be examined if the obligations of the Paris climate agreement are not respected. This could result in the suspension of trade facilitation.
Last April, Lula told an event in Madrid that Brazil and Mercosur countries were conducting a dialogue to finalize negotiations on the deal with the EU later this year. The South American economic alliance currently includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. On Monday, however, he made no predictions as to when the deal might be implemented.
The Brazilian president also criticized the fact that the European Union passed its own laws with extraterritorial effect. These upset the balance of the agreement as they presented “potential restrictions on Brazilian agricultural and industrial exports”. He pleaded for the construction of a “positive bilateral agenda” and “partnerships for sustainable development”.
Lula also took the opportunity to defend the importance of the role of the state. After a period of “exacerbated liberalism”, Europe and the United States have again recognized the importance of state action in industrial policy: “In industrialized countries, subsidy programs worth billions euros have been voted to promote reindustrialisation. serious process of deindustrialization, has similar ambitions. For this reason, Brazil will retain the power to carry out industrial promotion measures through the instrument of public procurement.
The war in Ukraine was also a subject of the press conference. Von der Leyen stressed that Brazil can help resolve this conflict in international forums and will play an important role as the next G20 presidency.
Lula reiterated that his country condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that there is no military solution to the conflict: “We need more diplomacy and less armed intervention in Ukraine, in Palestine and Yemen. The horrors and sufferings of war cannot be dealt with selectively. principles of international law apply to all.”
This article is originally published on nouvelles-du