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February 17, 2019

Bolsonaro's Brazil clouding EU-Mercosur deal: Macron

Bolsonaro's Brazil clouding EU-Mercosur deal: Macron
'France's President Emmanuel Macron, pictured after his arrival at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, said he was willing to push forward with trade talks separately with Argentina' - By: AFP Ludovic MARIN

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday he would refuse to sign a long-mooted EU-Mercosur trade deal if Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro followed through on his threat to withdraw from the Paris climate pact.

"I am not in favor of signing major trade accords with powers who have announced that they won't respect the Paris Agreement," Macron told reporters during a state visit to Argentina ahead of the G20 summit.

The French leader said he was willing to push forward with trade talks separately with Argentina.

Brazil is the largest member of the four-nation South American trade bloc Mercosur, which also includes Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Officials have repeatedly voiced hope that more than two decades of trade talks with Brussels are close to a successful conclusion.

French farmers have protested over increased imports of South American beef which would be part of the Mercosur deal.

"Like Argentina, France had limits, mainly over agriculture. We've been able to find compromises which have allowed us to progress," Macron said.

"But I hope that these discussions include all our ambitions," he said, referring to the Paris agreement on climate change.

The far-right Bolsonaro, who takes office on January 1 after his election win last month, has threatened to withdraw Brazil from the accord, as did his ally US President Donald Trump.

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