Greening of trade policies: The EU-Mercosur agreement

  • Date
  • Location
    1201 Eye Street NW, 12th Floor Conference Center, Washington, DC, 20005, United States

The 2030 Agenda calls on all countries to use trade to create a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient world. We must ensure that the global trading system actively contributes to sustainability. Trade policies offer an opportunity to promote a broad shift in production and consumption that helps consumers to make better choices.

The European Union-Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) free trade agreement, recently announced after 20 years of negotiations, has not yet been ratified. If ratified, it would represent the largest trade deal struck by both the EU and Mercosur bringing together 779 million of people, 24 trillion dollars of GDP and covering 18 million of square kilometers. Representing a quarter of the global GDP and could also presage a redistribution of agricultural market shares in the EU, the world’s second largest agricultural import market, for US-based exporters.

The agreement may serve as a model for future deals, making it critical to get this one right. This discussion will consider fundamental questions about “greening” of the EU-Mercosur agreement:

  • How will the agreement impact trade in goods?
  • How will it protect standards, including environmental standards?
  • Can it promote sustainable farming in both regions?
  • How will it contribute to the fight against climate change?
  • Will commitments on environmental protection be enforceable?