Trade union centers in Italy, Spain and the Netherlands are among the initial endorsers of a campaign to stop the disastrous trade agreement now being promoted for signature (after twenty years of negotiations) between the EU and the 4 Latin American countries (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) which make up the Mercosur bloc.
A petition signed by 265 trade union, peasant, environmental and civil society organizations calls on national governments, the European Commission and the European Parliament to scrap the agreement, which has already been rejected by the Austrian, Dutch and Walloon parliaments.
The EU-Mercosur agreement “will deepen trade asymmetries between the blocs, increasing unemployment, environmental destruction and puts the health of the people on both sides of the Atlantic at risk.” The agreement rewards environmental destruction by promoting high-input monoculture agriculture for export and provides no effective protection for the victims – peasant farmers, indigenous peoples and rights defenders – of associated human rights violations. Viewed in the light of the COVID-19 emergency and the deepening climate crisis, “The Mercosur deal takes us backwards. Trade policy must, instead, support localised and shorter value chains less susceptible to disruption and greater ability of governments to create resilient and decentralized food and health systems with greater capacity to produce medicines and medical equipment at the regional level.”