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Statement by the President of the Employers' Group of the EESC on the Mercosur Association Agreement

I strongly welcome the political agreement reached for an ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement between Mercosur and the EU. In the midst of increasing trade protectionism, this trade agreement, is a strong positive signal in favour of multilateralism as well as open, rule-based and free trade between the EU and its partners.

I am deeply convinced that this agreement, part of a wider Association Agreement, will deliver on its promises and bring growth as well as huge opportunities for a large number of companies, workers and consumers in both continents while defending the interests of the EU's sensitive sectors & industries and preserving our standards in terms of environment, labour and consumer protection.

The EU-Mercosur trade flows are already very impressive with the EU's exports to the four Mercosur countries amounting to €45 billion and Mercosur's exports to the EU totalling €42.6 billion in 2018.

Once into force, the deal will save our companies nearly 4 billion in duties and give them a substantial advantage in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. EU businesses will also benefit from privileged access to a market of roughly 260 million consumers.

Our Group has been closely following the agreement and played an important role in the preparation of the EESC opinion issued last year on the topic. It is essential that civil society on both sides is informed and involved in the implementation of the agreement including the provisions on trade and sustainable development.

This historical achievement shows that the EU has built a strong position as global leader in open and fair trade and fully reflects the spirit of open economy, open markets and fair competition that the Employers' Group has been advocating for years.

Jacek Krawczyk

President of the Employers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee