Mercosur leaders look to close EU deal despite Macron’s resistance


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Mercosur ministers reported progress on the final text of a trade agreement with the European Union on Wednesday (1 July) on the eve of a summit meeting overshadowed by French President Emmanuel Macron’s latest comments against the deal.

Leaders of the South American trade bloc will hold a virtual summit on Thursday and are expected to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, trade deals with Canada, Singapore, South Korea and start to review adjustments to their common external tariff.

But the most pressing topic will be concluding the free trade agreement with the EU that has taken two decades to negotiate and was agreed to in principle last year.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo told his counterparts the legal bullet-proofing of a document governing the agreement was all but done, thanks to “cooperation and flexibility” to overcome final differences.

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