France opposes EU-Mercosur trade talks

6th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

France opposes EU plans to resume free trade talks with the Latin American bloc Mercosur, which includes Brazil, for fear of undermining Europe's farmers, the government and lawmakers said.

A parliamentary agriculture commission on Thursday stated its "unfavourable view" of a plan floated on Tuesday by the European Union's executive commission to relaunch the talks, which stalled in 2004.

The commission said a successful outcome could boost jobs and growth in both regions.

On Wednesday French Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire and the junior minister for foreign trade Anne-Marie Idrac said they also opposed the move, which aims to revive a process that started in 1999.

The ministers "consider that the EU cannot have negotiations that threaten French and European agriculture," they said in a statement.

Brazil's foreign minister Celso Amorim said in February that the EU and Mercosur could strike a free trade deal at the next EU-Latin America and Caribbean summit scheduled on May 18 in Madrid.

Mercosur's other members are Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

© 2010 AFP

0 Comments To This Article