After meeting with Brazilian businesspeople and ministers today (27) in São Paulo, the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, said that he does not defend the agreement that is being created between the Mercosur countries and the European Union.

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According to him, the current agreement has been negotiated for more than 20 years and has not been updated, covering, for example, issues such as climate. For him, the agreement “needs to be renegotiated from scratch”.

“Mercosur is a terrible agreement as it is being negotiated now. This agreement was negotiated 20 years ago. I do not defend this agreement. It is not what we want,” he said. “Let’s put aside an agreement from 20 years ago and build a new, more responsible agreement, providing for issues such as climate and reciprocity”, he highlighted.

Macron participated today in the Brazil-France Economic Forum, which is being held at the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp), in the capital of São Paulo. This is the first of Macron’s commitments in São Paulo, after having participated, this morning, in an event in the city of Itaguaí, in Rio de Janeiro.

Tomorrow he will be in Brasília, where he will meet again with the President of the Republic Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Macron’s position contradicts the Brazilian government. Before the French president’s speech, the vice-president of the Republic, Geraldo Alckmin, had defended the agreement between Mercosur and the European Union. “Mercosur expanded one more country this year, which is Bolivia. We made an agreement with Singapore and there were conversations with the European Union. President Lula always says that there has to be reciprocity. It’s a win-win. We conquer the market, we we opened the market”, said Alckmin.

Earlier, Finance Minister Fernando Haddad had also defended the agreement, saying that Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva “will continue to insist on it.” Haddad even compared a possible agreement between Mercosur and the European Union with the approval of tax reform in Brazil. According to him, Brazil took 40 years to approve the tax reform that “put an end to the tax chaos.”

“We must not give up on this agreement. If it was possible to approve the tax reform after 40 years, why not, after 20 (years) approve a good agreement European Union and Mercosur”, said Haddad when speaking during the event.

In São Paulo, Macron said he was “very happy to be” in the city. He conveyed three important messages to Brazilian businesspeople: “French companies believe in Brazil, Brazilian companies must believe more in France and we have a common agenda to overcome the major problems and take us towards an energy transition.”

In his speech, Macron mainly highlighted the second point, stating that Brazilian companies can believe in France because economic measures were taken by the French government, such as the creation of jobs and massive investments, to make their country attractive to business. “We need to accelerate, go further. France will be the gateway to the European market,” he said.

He also highlighted the role of Brazil and France in tackling carbon emissions. For him, the two countries together can overcome this problem, creating clearer rules, redoubling efforts and improving bilateral agreements.

Macron arrived at Fiesp at around 4:40 pm and, there, met behind closed doors with Minister Fernando Haddad, Vice President of the Republic Geraldo Alckmin, bankers and businesspeople. Afterwards, he spoke at the end of the event, before moving on to an agenda in various locations in São Paulo that includes the inauguration of the Pasteur Institute, at the University of São Paulo (USP); a meeting with young people from Fundação Gol de Letra together with former player Raí and a dinner with Brazilian cultural and sporting personalities.

Editing: Maria Claudia


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