MERCOSUR: Talks open in December 2017

MERCOSUR: Talks open in December 2017

Postby Oscar » Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:23 pm

TAKE ACTION! Your comments on a Canada-Mercosur free trade deal can be sent to [ consultations@international.gc.ca ]

~ ~ ~ ~

Trudeau seeks free trade with Mercosur bloc, online comment deadline May 29

[ https://canadians.org/blog/trudeau-seek ... ine-may-29 ]

April 29, 2017 - 8:46 am

(PHOTO: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Argentina's President Mauricio Macri talk trade, November 2016.)

Like the Harper government before it, the Trudeau government is now seeking a free trade agreement with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, the four countries that make up the Mercosur trading bloc.

The Canadian Press reports, "The previous Conservative government also sought a trade deal with the South American bloc, holding rounds of talks in 2012."

And CBC adds, "Technical delegations met in Argentina, the country currently serving as chair of the group, earlier this month to help assemble the framework for formal negotiations. A South American media report said delegates exchanged information on their respective goods and services markets, non-tariff barriers, animal and plant sanitary regulations, investments, government procurement, labour issues and environmental regulations."

An online public consultation announced yesterday will conclude on May 29.

On its website, Global Affairs notes, "The focus of consultations is to determine how Canada should best proceed regarding a possible FTA with MERCOSUR. This would include how to best improve market access, legal certainty and transparency for Canadian business, but also to understand any other related issues and concerns that are relevant when considering a possible FTA."

The department says it is particularly looking for feedback in these areas: rules of origin, trade in services, restrictive regulatory measures, technical barriers to trade, non-tariff barriers, restrictions on foreign ownership, state-owned enterprises, intellectual property, and "preferred approach to trade remedies".

Trade with Argentina

In November 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Buenos Aires to talk trade with Argentina's President Mauricio Macri.

The Canadian Press reported at that time, "Trudeau said he and Macri would work together at the World Trade Organization to promote a 'progressive and inclusive' trade agenda. Trudeau told reporters the two countries would collaborate on mining operations, renewable energy and nuclear science for energy production, and that Canada would help resettle 3,000 Syrian refugees in Argentina by providing advice on private sponsorship, security screening and integration. Macri also said he expected Canadian companies to be interested in investing in his country's infrastructure program, which he compared to the multi-billion, multi-year program the Liberals are undertaking."

Lessons from the European Union debate

In March 2016, The Financial Times reported, "Almost half of the countries in the EU have risen up in open revolt against the European Commission’s plans to revive a long-stalled trade deal with Latin America’s Mercosur bloc. Countries opposing the exchange of offers argue that the EU has not conducted a full impact assessment to evaluate the cumulative effect of upcoming trade deals with other big agricultural powerhouses such as the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. They also argue that there is a danger of increased environmental damage - with EU farms at risk of being replaced by large Latin American ranches that can increase productivity by clearing forests."

Martin Häusling, a member of the EU parliamentary committee on Latin America for the German Green Party, has stated that talk of a EU-Mercosur free trade agreement has been "extremely polarizing" and that he fears a massive influx of genetically modified soya beans into the European market would result from a deal.

Farther back, in June 2010, UPI reported in the context of EU-Mercosur free trade talks, "An EU parliamentary initiative passed in May calls for a ban on all cyanide in European mining market by the end of 2011 and calls on the European Commission to eliminate any direct or indirect support to mining projects that entail the use of cyanide. Mercosur delegates argued current mining processes in South America made that unattainable and the new rules would potentially block South American exports to Europe. Jorge Mayoral, Argentina's minister of mines and host of the meeting, called the EU initiative 'an attack on the normal development of the mining industry" in the South American region'."

Your comments on a Canada-Mercosur free trade deal can be sent to
[ consultations@international.gc.ca ]


Brent Patterson's blog
Political Director of the Council of Canadians
[ https://canadians.org/blog/trudeau-seek ... ine-may-29 ]
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Re: MERCOSUR: Trudeau seeks free trade - comments to May 29

Postby Oscar » Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:25 pm

Trudeau seeks free trade with MERCOSUR bloc – Comments

April 29, 2017

Like the Harper government before it, the Trudeau government is now seeking a free trade agreement with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, the four countries that make up the MERCOSUR trading bloc.

CBC notes, "Technical delegations met in Argentina, the country currently serving as chair of the group, earlier this month to help assemble the framework for formal negotiations. A South American media report said delegates exchanged information on their respective goods and services markets, non-tariff barriers, animal and plant sanitary regulations, investments, government procurement, labour issues and environmental regulations."

Past history of the European Union's dealings with MERCOSUR suggests that, until Canada has conducted a FULL IMPACT ASSESSMENT to evaluate the cumulative effect of potential trade deals, there are lessons to be learned from the European Union debate and caution must be taken.

1) According to a March 2016 report by the Financial Times, EU countries opposing such exchange of offers warned of the danger of increased environmental damage as well as the risk of EU farms being replaced by large Latin American ranches which can increase productivity by clearing forests.

Since the trashing of much of Canada's environmental protection regulations by the previous Harper government - which, as yet, have not been re-instated by the current Liberal government as was promised in Mr. Trudeau's election campaign rhetoric - Canada remains extremely vulnerable to disastrous environmental damage and must not be further stressed by lowering its meagre protections any further.

2) Martin Häusling, a member of the EU parliamentary committee on Latin America for the German Green Party, has stated that talk of a EU-MERCOSUR free trade agreement has been "extremely polarizing" and that he fears a massive influx of genetically modified soya beans into the European market would result from a deal.

Canadian farmers can grow their own soybeans - no need to bring GM-contaminated soybeans from other countries.

3) In June 2010, UPI reported in the context of EU-MERCOSUR free trade talks, "An EU parliamentary initiative passed in May calls for a ban on all cyanide in European mining market by the end of 2011 and calls on the European Commission to eliminate any direct or indirect support to mining projects that entail the use of cyanide. MERCOSUR delegates argued current mining processes in South America made that unattainable and the new rules would potentially block South American exports to Europe. Jorge Mayoral, Argentina's minister of mines and host of the meeting, called the EU initiative 'an attack on the normal development of the mining industry" in the South American region'."

Canadian mining companies are constantly embroiled in protests launched by citizens of some/all of these countries as they desperately fight to protect their water, air, land and way of life. It is a shameful situation and Canada needs to clean up its act as it now stands without adding to the problem.

4) Investments

The Canadian public, scientists, and environmental and social justice organizations are vehemently opposed to the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause present in all/most so-called 'free trade' agreements currently being pursued by Canada (CETA, TPP, etc); it is a threat to democracy and the rule of law, and must not be included in any future such agreements. Canadian courts must stand as the final decision in disputes affecting Canadian people and their environment - not some "Corporate Rights Act" enacted by corporate-paid lawyers!

I have touched on only a few of my concerns which, hopefully, will receive your serious consideration.

I request that, in this, and any/all future trade deals, the Canadian government apply the Precautionary Principle - it's past time!!

Thank you for the opportunity to submit my comments,

Elaine Hughes
Quill Plains (Wynyard) Chapter
Council of Canadians
Box 23, ARCHERWILL, SK S0E 0B0
EMAIL: tybach.1933@sasktel.net
TELEPHONE: 306-323-4901
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Re: MERCOSUR: Trudeau seeks free trade - comments to May 29

Postby Oscar » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:38 am

Quill Plains (Wynyard) chapter opposes Canada-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement

[ https://canadians.org/blog/quill-plains ... -agreement ]

April 30, 2017 - 8:45 am

(PHOTO: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to pursue free trade talks with (clockwise) the presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.)

The Council of Canadians Quill Plains (Wynyard) chapter has written the government about its concerns regarding the proposed Canada-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement.

The Trudeau government is now seeking a free trade agreement with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, the four countries that make up the Mercosur trading bloc. On April 28, the federal government announced a 30-day online public consultation period that will conclude on May 29.

Archerwill-based chapter activist Elaine Hughes has submitted her comments to the government on the proposed deal.

Hughes writes, "According to a March 2016 report by the Financial Times, 'EU countries opposing such exchange of offers warned of the danger of increased environmental damage as well as the risk of EU farms being replaced by large Latin American ranches which can increase productivity by clearing forests.' Since the trashing of much of Canada's environmental protection regulations by the previous Harper government - which, as yet, have not been re-instated by the current Liberal government as was promised in Mr. Trudeau's election campaign rhetoric - Canada remains extremely vulnerable to disastrous environmental damage and must not be further stressed by lowering its meagre protections any further."

She also notes, "Martin Häusling, a member of the EU parliamentary committee on Latin America for the German Green Party, has stated that talk of a EU-Mercosur free trade agreement has been 'extremely polarizing' and that he fears a massive influx of genetically modified soya beans into the European market would result from a deal. Canadian farmers can grow their own soybeans - no need to bring GM-contaminated soybeans from other countries."

Hughes highlights, "In June 2010, UPI reported, 'An EU parliamentary initiative passed in May calls for a ban on all cyanide in European mining market by the end of 2011 and calls on the European Commission to eliminate any direct or indirect support to mining projects that entail the use of cyanide. Mercosur delegates argued current mining processes in South America made that unattainable and the new rules would potentially block South American exports to Europe.' Canadian mining companies are constantly embroiled in protests launched by citizens of some/all of these countries as they desperately fight to protect their water, air, land and way of life. It is a shameful situation and Canada needs to clean up its act as it now stands without adding to the problem."

And she adds, "The Canadian public, scientists, and environmental and social justice organizations are vehemently opposed to the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause present in all/most so-called 'free trade' agreements currently being pursued by Canada (CETA, TPP, etc); it is a threat to democracy and the rule of law and must not be included in any future such agreements. Canadian courts must stand as the final decision in disputes affecting Canadian people and their environment - not some 'Corporate Rights Act' enacted by corporate-paid lawyers!"

Your comments on a Canada-Mercosur free trade deal can be sent to consultations@international.gc.ca


Tags: chapters
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Brent Patterson's blog
Political Director of the Council of Canadians
[ https://canadians.org/blogs/brent-patterson ]
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MERCOSUR: Talks begin in December

Postby Oscar » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:47 pm

Canada set to open Mercosur trade talks in December: sources

[ https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-canad ... KKBN1CI20F ]

Lisandra Paraguassu October 13, 2017

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Canada and the South American trade bloc Mercosur will announce in December the opening of negotiations for a free-trade deal during the World Trade Organization’s annual meeting in Argentina, two sources told Reuters this week.

The governments of all four full members of Mercosur - Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay - have approved entering into talks, said the sources, who requested anonymity as the details of the deliberations are private.

In Canada, the talks still need to be approved by the cabinet of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, though that step is considered a formality, one of the sources added.

Consulted by Reuters, a spokesman for Canadian Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne said that the country “reaffirms that there exists an opportunity for an agreement with the Mercosur and that we’re going to continue with exploratory conversations.”

Brazil’s foreign ministry, which negotiates trade talks for the government, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes met with Champagne at a WTO meeting in Morocco this week. After the meeting, the Brazilian foreign ministry issued a statement saying it “recognized there exists strong potential for the development of a more ambitious commercial relationship.”

Trade between Mercosur in Canada is currently small, though there are significant areas for potential growth, the sources said. According to the Brazilian government, trade in 2016 between the parties was $5.88 billion, about a tenth the size of trade between Mercosur and the United States.

The Brazilian government has identified opportunities in the industrial sector, as well as in agriculture where significantly different climates mean complimentary rather than competing exports, one of the sources added.
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