The EU is negotiating a trade agreement with the four Mercosur members (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay). This deal could affect the daily lives of more than 770 million people, and would be the EU’s biggest trade deal ever, four times the size of the EU’s trade deal with Japan (JEFTA). Despite this trade deal’s wide-reaching implications, the EU Commission has been negotiating it in secret, failing to stick to its commitments on transparency.
Covering a range of sectors, it will especially benefit European car makers and industrial meat companies to the detriment of the Amazon forest and other ecosystems. For example, soy, the Mercosur countries’ biggest export, is expected to increase as a result of this trade deal. Soy production impact caused the loss of an area roughly the size of Switzerland in Brazil’s Amazonian region in 2016. With such wide-ranging implications for the environment, public health (the trade deal has an extensive Intellectual Property Rights chapter), social rights and labour standards (particularly as Brazil is in the process of dismantling environmental and human rights safeguards), public access to these documents will enable democratic scrutiny of such significant policy decisions.