Copa-Cogeca published a new EU study revealing that an agreement in the trade liberalising talks between the EU and the Latin American Trade Bloc Mercosur would lead to a collapse of the EU beef sector.
At the same time, imports from these countries fail to meet the EU’s high EU standards. The move comes just before both sides are due to meet for negotiations in mid-March. In a letter sent to EU Commissioner Ciolos, Copa President Padraig Walshe and Cogeca President Paolo Bruni warned, if trade was fully liberalised between the two sides, it was estimated to result in losses to the EU beef sector of as much as 25 billion euros. A deal would also increase price volatility and cause a huge rise in pork, poultry, maize, imports to the EU from these countries.
Moreover, the study shows that Mercosur is producing the same agriculture goods that the EU produces and Mercosur is already a major exporter of agriculture and food products to the EU, with more than 90% of EU imports of beefmeat coming from Mercosur. With further liberalisation of trade with Mercosur, the EU will become more dependent on imports and the EUs’ food security will be increasingly affected by climatic conditions or political decisions on agriculture from these countries.
Copa-Cogeca warned that the study estimates that the economical losses would go beyond the CAP framework and would encourage the outsourcing of production for many products. On top of this, an agreement would double the level of carbon dioxide emissions, which runs counter to the EU’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and would make it difficult for the EU to meet its reduction targets. There are also still concerns about safety aspects of meat production in these countries such as traceability and the use of hormones in meat production. Copa-Cogeca therefore vehemently opposes any new concessions to non-EU countries.