Business confederations call for “rapid” ratification of the EU-Mercosur agreement

For the business confederations of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay and BusinessEurope, the delay in signing this agreement may jeopardize the use of the opportunities offered to the economies and societies involved.

The business confederations of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay and BusinessEurope (Confederation of European Companies) this Thursday called for the “rapid” ratification of the agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur, committing to work with the authorities of the different countries for this to happen.

For these five entities, the delay in signing this agreement - which was reached on June 28, 2019 and provides for market liberalization (with some exceptions) - may jeopardize the use of the opportunities offered to the economies and companies involved. “It is of crucial importance not only for strategic and economic reasons, but also from the point of view of sustainability”, they refer, in a joint statement, released at the initiative of CIP - Confederação Empresarial de Portugal.

Both Mercosur and the European Union are large markets and have a long tradition of trade and investment. However, the enormous potential of the economic relationship is currently hampered by a high number of tariff peaks, customs procedures, testing and certification requirements. Regulatory cooperation is essential in this process and must be treated as such. The agreement opens up new opportunities and provides greater access for small and medium-sized enterprises - Confederations

For the president of BusinessEurope, Pierre Gattaz, “building stronger commercial and investment ties allows us to create opportunities, but also to overcome the challenges now facing us”. “This agreement took 20 years to make. We will make sure that it is ratified quickly, because we cannot wait another 20 years ”, he warned.

“The agreement is strategic to integrate two of the largest economic regions in the West. The gradual removal of trade barriers, which currently affect 65% of our trade, will allow competitive adaptation on both sides, while stimulating trade and investments. For this reason, the private sectors on both sides need to lead the support for implementation ”, completed the President of the National Confederation of Industry (Brazil), Robson Braga de Andrade, who reiterated that both Mercosur and the Member States are committed to respecting “Strictly” the Paris Agreement.

In the opinion of the president of CIP, implementing this agreement will enable regions to “overcome the difficulties we are experiencing, but also to project the future beyond the pandemic”. "I am sure that this agreement will be a priority for the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union, which relies on the commitment of business confederations to make it a reality", said António Saraiva, who was in contact with his counterparts in the scope of preparation for the Portuguese presidency of the EU Council.

There are two essential elements in this agreement, according to the European institutions: industry and the agri-food sector. The objective is to stimulate exports of European products that have been subject to high duties and, sometimes, even prohibitive. This includes motor vehicles (35%), automotive components (14-18%), machines (14-20%), chemicals (up to 18%), pharmaceuticals (up to 14%), clothing and footwear (35%) or knitted fabrics (26%).

The reduction of customs duties applicable to chocolates and confectionery products (20%), wines (27%), spirits (20 to 3%) and soft drinks (20 to 35%) is also expected, as well as exemption from subject duties. tariff quotas for dairy products such as cheese.

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