Germany: Economic circles continue to pressure to conclude a European trade agreement with South America


In light of the weakness of Germany’s export-led economy, the Federation of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry urged the European Union to conclude a free trade agreement with South America.

The Union’s Executive Director, Martin Wansleben, said on Friday in a statement, “From the point of view of many German companies, the European Union must quickly agree on an ambitious trade agreement with the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), thus providing positive growth drivers for our economy… towards 85% of European exports to Mercosur are burdened with customs duties, which means costs for companies amounting to four billion Euros annually”.

The European Union has been negotiating a trade agreement with the Mercosur countries (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) for more than two decades.

The agreement aims primarily to reduce customs tariffs and thus enhance trade, but it has been on hold since 2019.

French President Emmanuel Macron didn’t reject the agreement in its current form until last Wednesday.

The agreement is – among other things – criticized over concerns about weakening labor and environmental standards.

Wansleben said that German export-based companies cannot afford more negotiations that continue for decades.

“China, for example, has been working diligently for a long time on the continent of opportunity, South America,” Wansleben said, adding that in addition to giving impetus to European foreign trade, it could the region will also become an important partner for the supply of raw materials.

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