Brussels, 11 January 2024 – EURATEX and 22 industry associations sent a joint letter to the three EU Presidents to call on the EU and Mercosur leaders to rapidly conclude the trade negotiations on the remaining open points.
Your excellency President Metsola, Your excellency President Michel, Your excellency President von der Leyen,
We are writing to you on behalf of 23 associations representing a wide array of European industries and other businesses based in the EU, ranging from manufacturing to food-related sectors. We call on the EU and Mercosur leaders to rapidly conclude the trade negotiations on the remaining open points. In short, there is no time to lose.
Having the EU-Mercosur agreement in place will boost the integration of our economies and help to diversify our value chains both for imports and exports. This is key for the competitiveness of our export-oriented sectors that create tens of millions of jobs in Europe and provide an essential contribution to the prosperity and standards of living of European citizens. It also helps to promote the EU’s open strategic autonomy in times of rising economic security concerns by partnering with like-minded countries.
The agreement offers Europe a unique and timely chance to seize its first-mover advantage to partner up with one of the world’s largest economies. A deal helps to significantly reduce both high tariff and non-tariff barriers that negatively affect European companies’ chances to compete on Mercosur’s relatively closed market with over 270 million consumers. It is important to recognise the huge opportunities the agreement offers, which will help maintaining a strong industrial structure in the EU, including in rural areas, and thereby to safeguard the jobs and well-being of millions of European citizens. Given that the EU lacks substantial reserves of key raw materials necessary for the green and digital transition and the fact that a substantial proportion of global growth is expected to come from outside of the EU in the next decade, our industries need open export markets to sell European goods and services and procure raw materials at a competitive prices. The agreement is therefore an economic, social, and geopolitical imperative.
Committed to free, fair, and sustainable trade, we understand the need to protect the unique ecosystems of the Mercosur region. We believe that the EU-Mercosur agreement provides a very strong incentive and the right tools for collaboration to maintain the region’s sustainable development pledges, including the halt of illegal deforestation.
We, therefore, call on European leaders to act now and conclude and ratify the EU-Mercosur agreement, without further delay.
Full list of Signatories here.