Brazil Won’t Sign Mercosur-EU Agreement If There Are No Adjustments, Says Lula By Reuters

Brazil Won’t Sign Mercosur-EU Agreement If There Are No Adjustments, Says Lula By Reuters

2023-06-02 20:35:47

© Reuters. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva 5/29/2023 REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

By Maria Carolina Marcello

(Reuters) – President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Friday that a free trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union will not be signed without an adjustment that addresses Brazil’s conditions.

According to Lula, it is not in the country’s interest to open up the possibility of foreign participation in the government procurement sector while the national industry needs stimulus.

“We are now about to make an agreement with the European Union. You must have read in the newspaper that Brazil is about to conclude an agreement with the European Union and Brazil does not want to sign the agreement without there being an adjustment in that agreement”, he said. the president at the inauguration of the new production line at the Eletra factory, a Brazilian company producing electric vehicles.

“If they do not accept Brazil’s position, there is no agreement, because we cannot abdicate government purchases, which are the opportunity for small and medium-sized companies to survive in this country.”

For this very reason, he once again defended the role of the State as an inducer of growth, strengthening the country’s industry based on the appreciation of the national product.

“That’s where the importance of the State comes in… It is up to the Brazilian State to guarantee the survival of Brazilian industry so that we can one day be competitive with the outside world”, he defended.

“I love that Brazil participates in world trade, I love that Brazil maintains a relationship with all countries in the world… But when it comes to business, I prefer to do business with Brazilians to strengthen the national industry.”

The trade agreement was closed in 2019 after 20 years of negotiations, but its entry into force depends on the approval of the Parliaments of European countries, a point that has not yet advanced.

On Thursday, in a statement alongside the president of Finland, Sauli Niinisto, Lula expressed his expectations of reaching a balanced agreement between Mercosur and the European Union.

In September, still during the electoral campaign, Lula stated that the Mercosur agreement with the European Union would be closed in six months if he were elected president of the Republic.

At this Friday’s ceremony, Lula stated that he asked the Minister of Education, Camilo Santana, to evaluate the renewal of the school fleet, giving priority to domestic production and more environmentally sustainable vehicles, such as the cars produced by Eletra.

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