Two countries, two methods. Friday, Emmanuel Macron announced that he opposed the trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, in retaliation for the environmental policy of Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian president. A little later, Berlin felt that this blockage was "not the appropriate answer," said a spokesman for the German government.
An unnecessary blockage
On the eve of the opening of the G7 summit in Biarritz (France), the French president accused his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro of having "lied" about his commitments to the environment and announced Friday that under these conditions, France opposed the controversial free trade treaty EU-Mercosur. "The failure of the conclusion of the Mercosur agreement would not help to reduce the clearing of the rainforest in Brazil," reacted to AFP the German spokesman, noting that the EU-Mercosur agreement "contains an ambitious chapter on sustainable development, with binding regulations on climate protection ".
"This agreement is a strong signal for rule-based trade and protectionism." It allows "an open and fair global trade, with high environmental and social standards, which are essential for the German government," the spokesman said. The Amazon rainforest is "of paramount importance for climate protection and biodiversity," he says. "The magnitude of the fires is alarming and we stand ready to support Brazil in its efforts to quickly overcome this serious crisis."
Brazil accuses Macron of instrumentalization
As part of this agreement, the European Union and Mercosur "have agreed to effectively implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Protection, which the German government has committed to". "Therefore, in our opinion, not concluding this agreement is not the appropriate response to what is happening in Brazil," he concludes.
The Brazilian president had earlier accused his French counterpart of wanting to "instrumentalize" the subject "for personal political gains". The free trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay), signed in late June after 20 years of negotiations, is widely criticized, particularly by the agricultural sector or environmentalists. France conditioned its validation of the agreement on Brazil's compliance with certain environmental commitments that had been discussed during the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, of which Brazil is a member.