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Brazil Describes as “Unacceptable” Eu’s Latest Demand in Trade Deal With Mercosur

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Tuesday criticized as “unacceptable” the EU’s latest demand for ratifying a trade agreement with the Southern Common Market (Mercosur).

“They sent us a letter imposing some conditions. We did not accept the letter. Now we are preparing another response,” Lula said at a broadcast on his social media when attending a Mercosur summit of heads of state at Puerto Iguazu, Argentina.

Following 20 years of negotiations, the agreement reached by Mercosur and the EU in 2019 is still pending, while the EU earlier this year attached a new stipulation that imposes sanctions on countries that fail to meet environmental goals, such as deforestation targets.

Denouncing the EU move as a double standard, Lula said that the EU demanded South American countries be punished for not meeting environmental targets when “rich countries … have failed to comply” with a series of climate agreements, including the Kyoto Protocol and the Copenhagen Accord, and are unlikely to comply with the Paris Agreement.

“We want to have a win-win policy. We don’t want to make a policy in which they win and we lose,” he added.

“This is an agreement between strategic partners. No strategic partner puts a sword to the head of the other. Let’s sit down, settle our differences and see what is good for Europeans, Latin Americans, Mercosur and Brazil,” Lula said, urging further discussion. 

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