These negotiations, as we all know, for this trade deal are ongoing for nearly two decades, though the talks have stalled repeatedly. Of course we can congratulate on the good advancement in the talks that has been made but there’s still stock taking today.
We are aware of the EU’s proposal, made in October, to provide tariff-rate quotas for ethanol and beef, an amount that the members of Mercosur argued was not enough and this caused upheaval among EU Member States, forcing the Commission to withdraw the offer.
Mercosur is reportedly willing to phase out import tariffs at a faster pace in exchange for greater market access on beef.
Ms Gallina, please correct me if I am wrong, but a number of outstanding issues remains, including market access for industrial and agricultural goods such as cars, car parts and dairy products and other issues are rules of origin, transitional periods, geographical indicators and opportunities in maritime services.
Yet the EU also knows that it will need to offer greater market access to these partners if it wants to clinch a deal.
My question is very simple: are you optimistic that the negotiations will be concluded this year, maybe in the first half?