“Below expectations.” That was the initial reaction from Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations (Itamaraty), with regard to the offer presented yesterday by the European Union as part of negotiations for an Inter-Regional Association Agreement with Mercosur.
The ministry points out that a preliminary examination of the offer found it quantitatively lower than the offer made last May by the EU.
The new offer, says the note, repeats quotas offered at that time, while introducing new conditions.
“Consequently, the present offer is seen, in general terms, as below the quantitative levels which were discussed informally at a subsequent meeting in September,” says the note from the ministry.
However, the note goes on to say that further examination of the offer will be made.
“A final position by Mercosur will be possible only after a detailed analysis by all member states.”
The note concludes by reiterating Mercosur’s commitment to continued consultations in order to reach a just and balanced agreement with the EU.
Such an agreement is described as a strategic element in Mercosur foreign trade policy. It is also described as beneficial to both parts.
But the note also points out that Mercosur has made large concessions, while the EU has not done the same.