The main negotiating forum is the EU-MERCOSUR Bi-Regional Negotiating Committee (BNC) with its Cooperation Sub-Committee (SCC), three sub-groups of specific areas of cooperation and three technical groups (TGS) related to trade issues. Sixteen rounds of negotiations took place until October 2006. Since May 2004, negotiations have been conducted in informal technical meetings. In September 2004, both parties made available their market access offers. The agreement will create the necessary conditions for European consumers to choose from a wider and more affordable range of products and services. The EU is Mercosur`s main trade and investment partner. EU exports to Mercosur amounted to €41 billion in 2019 and €21 billion in 2018 for services. Mercosur`s economies are highly protected and European companies face many barriers to trade when exporting, making it more difficult for them to compete on fair terms. This implies that non-compliance with this prior assessment obligation is all the more serious as the EU-Mercosur agreement could contribute to aggravating an already very degraded situation in terms of human rights and environmental protection, as analysed by the Veblen Institute and the FNH in their report “A lose-lose agreement” on the first elements of the agreement published.
The agreement opens the EU market to products from Mercosur, but restricts imports of sensitive agricultural products such as beef, ethanol, pork, honey, sugar and poultry from Mercosur. This creates the right balance: Mercosur exports will not threaten the EU market with unlimited imports into sensitive sectors. “This is the main shortcoming of this agreement and it is the main reason why France, in its current form, rejects the draft agreement,” he added. As protectionist pressures intensify, a trade deal between the EU and Mercosur sends a clear signal to the world that two of its largest economies: the EU has negotiated a trade deal with the four founding countries of Mercosur (Southern Common Market) – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Find out here what`s in it, what the consequences will be and how we will reach a final agreement. The agreement will facilitate the candidacy of European companies for government contracts in Mercosur countries, on an equal footing with local companies. The agreement will make it easier for EU companies to award contracts in three ways. First, it will prevent Mercosur governments from discriminating against EU suppliers.
Secondly, the tendering procedure is becoming more transparent. Each Mercosur country has agreed to publish the notices online at a single national access point for the markets covered by the agreement. Third, the agreement also sets standards for fairness throughout the procurement process and remedies available to bidding companies that feel unfairly treated. France remains opposed to a free trade agreement as currently proposed between the EU and South American countries due to “big” concerns about deforestation in the region, the government said on Friday (September 18th).