This Thursday an Alliance to present of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) a protest note denouncing the trade with pesticides. Are involved in groups such as Powershift, Forum environment and development, Attac Germany, Campact, and others. It is not the first action of this kind, the resistance to the trade agreement seems to be growing also in Germany.
The Federal government wants to adopt, however, the agreement rapidly, to this end, Germany wants to use its current presidency of the EU. The agreement would be commercially the most important, the EU has concluded so far. With 780 million users of the largest free trade market in the world representing a quarter of global economic output. Proponents see it as an important counter-weight to the major economic powers, the US and China.
The initiators of the recent letter of Protest, however, warn against the agreement. They fear, among other things, that due to the narrower trade even more highly toxic pesticides could be exported to the Mercosur countries, as is already the case. Alone in 2019 export to the EU member States, the information suggests that substances with a minimum value of 915 million euros in the South American economic space, including pesticides that are not approved in the EU, a business of the German companies Bayer and BASF to benefit.
The agreement creating the tariffs for pesticides in the Mercosur Region, which imports would rise, says Bettina Müller, Commercial Manager at Powershift. “In the EU, numerous pesticides, and with good reason are not allowed. They are suspected of causing cancer, harming the Unborn as well as bodies,” she says. To facilitate the Export of these highly dangerous pesticides through a trade agreement, contrary to all the European values speak.
Also for consumers in Europe, the critics see risks
As the main customers of chemical plant protection products in Brazil, the country has just toned down its conditions for the approval of these substances. The funding will, among other things, the cultivation of genetically modified soy, the lands stables as fodder in the European Animal. Argentina is also one of the major pesticide recipients.
Also for consumers in Europe, the Pact risks. Food controls could be dismantled in the course of the agreement, the fear. Residues of dangerous pesticides could therefore land on the plates of European consumers. Example, honey: every Year, 35 000 tons from the Mercosur Region would be introduced in the EU, the do almost a quarter of the European honey imports. Actually be found at the samples again and again, excessive pesticide values, the goods must then be destroyed. The importation of contaminated products could increase if, as planned, which is currently due for customs duties of up to 27 percent eliminated, argue critics. “The Federal government should not ratify the EU-Mercosur agreement, for this reason, too,” says Miller.
Controversial the proposed agreement is not only environmental and development groups. Europe’s farmers fear disadvantages because it allows higher imports of such beef. The ratio provides 99 000 tonnes per year. Producers fear this side of the Atlantic, that cheap imports could push you from the market. The could meet, especially the farms, the animal – and environmentally friendly attitude to operate and thus have a higher cost, so the fear. The growing herds of cattle in Brazil, it can be regarded as the driving force behind the destruction of the rain forests in the Amazon region.
For well over 20 years is negotiated. A crash is there even an Option?
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is therefore at the heart of the free trade critics. You are to lead the attacks of his government to the rule of law, human rights and democracy. Do you think that the Mercosur-Treaty sanctioning mechanisms are absent, if, for example, Brazil is doing nothing against the growing Amazon fires or mining corporations, allows, in reservations of Indigenous penetrate.
But the are also good reasons for rejecting the agreement after 20 years of negotiations? The political scientist and South America expert, Professor Detlef Nolte, University of Hamburg, have no doubt of that. “An agreement can help put pressure on Brazil to change its hard-line stance. Without a contract it would be hardly possible.”
The objections of the NGOs Nolte, who is a member of the German society for Foreign policy, holds, in each of the points some of you. From his point of view the agreement needs effective control mechanisms, about environmental standards. “Because you have to look carefully and Not to readjust,” he says. “What exactly is in the Treaty text, we don’t know yet .” According to the Federal Ministry of economy, the agreement is currently in the final stages of the formal-legal examination. Subsequently, the Text to be translated in all EU official languages. Thereafter, the Commission intends to submit the Treaty to the member countries. Observers expect that this will be the end of the year or the beginning of 2021 in the case.
Would benefit from the agreement, according to Nolte, the European industry, with the automotive and machine builders. The Mercosur market is in lockdown currently, with high external tariffs. The savings could be more than four billion euros, it says. In addition, companies in the EU would maintain with the agreement, equal access to public procurement in the Mercosur countries.
All of this for the South America experts Nolte good reasons for an agreement. A conclusion should not hinder Brazil’s President Bolsonaro. “Agreements are made between States, you should not hang on to individual persons. Also Bolsonaro will eventually disappear again.” The EU-Mercosur agreement came into being, is likely to strengthen the influence of China and the US in the Region. “Whether this is better for the environment there, is questionable,” he says.