1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Macron says Mercosur-EU deal is 'very bad' for both sides

March 28, 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron told Brazilian business leaders that a proposed trade deal between the European Union and South America's Mercosur bloc is outdated and needs to be reworked.

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he speaks during the 'Brazil-France Economic Forum: The transition to the green economy', at the Federation of Industries of the State of Sao Paulo (FIESP), in Sao Paulo
Macron believes that the EU-Mercosur agreement needs to be renegotiated to take climate change into accountImage: ISAAC FONTANA/EPA/picture alliance

A potential trade deal between the European Union and South America's Mercosur bloc is "very bad" for both sides, French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday during a visit to Brazil.

Speaking at a business forum in Sao Paulo, Macron said the Mercosur-EU agreement was outdated and needed to be revised to take climate change into account.

"The trade deal with Mercosur as it is being negotiated now is a very bad deal. For you and for us," Macron said. "It was negotiated 20 years ago. We need to rebuild it."

Macron's comments were a reaffirmation of his opposition to the agreement, which has been the most outspoken among European leaders.

EU-Mercosur trade deal: A tale of two cattle breeders

Why is Macron against the deal?

Macron opposes any deal until South American producers are held to the same environmental and health standards as Europeans. Mercosur is made up of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

"You can try to reanimate that flame, but it is not the same thing. We need to rebuild it as the world is now. It is important to take diversity and the climate into account, and those are not being considered," Macron said.

"(We want) a responsible trade deal, that has development, climate and biodiversity. A deal for a new generation, with clauses that allow reciprocity," the French president added.

Germany 'strongly committed' to EU-Mercosur deal: Scholz

What was Brazil's reaction?

While Brazil has said it is ready to sign an agreement, France has repeatedly expressed reservations, saying its farmers have objected to the prospect of allowing agricultural imports, especially beef, that do not meet strict EU standards.

"We still have time," said Brazilian Finance Minister Fernando Haddad at the same forum. "It's true we lost an opportunity at the end of last year, but we should not give up on this deal."

He added that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had invested a lot of time in the deal and would continue to invest in a closer relationship with the European market.

Earlier this month, European officials said "decisive progress" on the deal was possible by July.

dh/jsi (AP, Reuters)