A Mercosur trade agreement could have a detrimental effect on the agriculture in the European Union, according to EU producers.
The Committee of Agricultural Organizations and Cooperatives in Europe, Copa-Cogeca, and industry representatives presented data on the effect of a potential alliance with the Latin American bloc. Gerd Sonnleitner, president of Copa-Cogeca, said losses for the European agricultural sector would amount to €13 billion (US$18.7 billion), which would impact employment in rural areas of the EU. In addition, since the Latin American bloc is already exporting over its quota, there is no need for additional concessions to increase trade. "If an agreement is reached, the EU would be dependent on an external source to satisfy their food security and therefore would be exposed to weather conditions or political decisions of these countries," said Sonnleitner.
Mercosur currently provides 86% of cattle imports, 70% of poultry meat purchases and 50% of the European demand for vegetable protein.