Macron Concerns Derail EU-South America Trade Deal Yet Again

(Bloomberg) -- A major trade deal between the European Union and South American economies received a serious setback after French President Emmanuel Macron said that the environmental concessions obtained by the bloc fall short of what’s needed.

“I cannot ask our farmers, our industrialists in France and everywhere else in Europe to make efforts toward decarbonization, while suddenly removing all tariffs to bring in goods that aren’t subjected to these rules,” he said. “A few sentences were added at the beginning and at the end of the text to please France — but this isn’t working.”

Products imported from Mercosur — comprised of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay — would have “a disgusting carbon footprint,” Macron told reporters Saturday after meeting with his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in Dubai at the COP28 climate conference.

He spoke after the elusive agreement’s finalization already was derailed at the last minute as Argentina isn’t ready to accept new commitments before President-elect Javier Milei takes over.