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Changes to Slave Labor Definitions Could Impact Exporters

10/19/2017 - 10h50

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DIOGO BERCITO
FROM MADRID

The changes surrounding the definition of and procedures relative to slave labor in Brazil could negatively impact exportations to the European Union (EU), according to representatives of the economic block and the export sector in Brazil.

On Monday (the 16th), an ordinance altered the definition of slave labor, as well as the current criteria and procedures for divulging the so-called "dirty list" with the names of those convicted of this crime.

"We cannot accept the importation of products made under conditions of slavery", Heidi Hautala, a Finnish legislator from the European Parliament, the Legislative branch of the UE, told Folha. Heidi is from the Green Party.

For Hautala, the decision by the Brazilian government could create "obstacles" to the free-trade negotiations under way between the EU and Mercosul.

Currently, the two blocks are working to align parts of their proposals. Quotas for meat and ethanol are among the most prominent products under discussion.

Rough drafts of an agreement that have been circulated - and have been under discussion for years without consensus - call for the end of slave labor.

Other commercial treaties with the EU have been frozen in the past due to this kind of concern. For example, there has been resistance by Uzbekistan's textile industry.

The European Parliament has already shown concern regarding this issue. In October of 2016, it requested a strengthening of the rules regarding the identification of slave labor. Based on this request, exportations would need a certificate that they meet certain criteria, including the absence of slave labor.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

Read the article in the original language

Apu Gomes - 22.jan.2013/Folhapress
Changes surrounding the definition of and procedures relative to slave labor in Brazil could negatively impact exportations to the EU
Changes surrounding the definition of and procedures relative to slave labor in Brazil could negatively impact exportations to the EU

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