Descrição de chapéu Mercosul

We have no interest in an agreement that condemns us to be exporters of raw materials, says Lula

President again criticizes negotiations with the European Union and promises to advance in agreements with Canada, South Korea, and Singapore

Puerto Iguazú (Argentina) and Brasília

President Lula (PT) used his first speech at the Mercosur summit of this term, this Tuesday (4), to criticize the new environmental requirements of the European Union in the free trade agreement with Mercosur and said that he has no interest in " agreements that condemn us to be exporters of raw materials".

"[The annex] presented by the European Union in March is unacceptable. Strategic partners do not negotiate based on mistrust and under threats of sanctions," he repeated to the presidents of Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay in Puerto Iguazú, on the Argentine side of the Iguazu Falls. "We have no interest in agreements that condemn us to the eternal role of exporters of raw materials, ores, and oil."

President Lula at a Mercosur meeting in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina. - Ricardo Stuckert/PR

The president also promised to review and advance agreements with Canada, South Korea, and Singapore during the next semester in which he takes over the rotating presidency of the bloc: "We will also explore new fronts of negotiation with partners such as China, Indonesia, Vietnam and with countries in Central America and the Caribbean."

Lula nodded to the automotive and sugar sectors, declaring that Mercosur still has "an unfinished agenda" with both of them —in reference to free trade agreements that he wants to close— and again defended the adoption of a common currency for regional trade, that would not eliminate the respective national currencies.

Translated by Cassy Dias

Read the article in the original language